TWO-year-old Ollie Garnett is on a mission to battle his celebral palsy and achieve his dream of running around with his older brother.
He and his parents hope to raise £60,000 for what could be a life-changing operation in America, and have already organised a string of fundraising events to try and hit the target.
Ollie, of Marlow Road, Bourne End, was born ten weeks early and developed a chronic muscular condition called spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, which means he’s unable to walk.
But parents Nick and Claire, both 38, have found a specialist doctor in Missouri who believes he can improve Ollie’s mobility through a procedure called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy - to open his lower spine and cut the malfunctioning nerve fibres which control the leg muscles.
Teacher Claire said: “There are a few hospitals that perform the operation in the UK but it's almost impossible to get NHS funding and there is an extremely long waiting list to even see anybody.
“So we started fundraising just after Christmas and have just gone over £10,000 which is really good. Our target is £60,000 and this will pay for the operation, flights out, accommodation for a month and post op physio.”
Ollie, who goes to Poppies Day Nursery in Furlong Road, uses a standing frame and splints and has a special daily stretching routine.
Claire added: “He’s a really happy little boy and is so determined to get around. When he chases after his brother Sam, crawling as fast as he can, he often shouts ‘I’m running!’.
“He’s shown he’s got courage, determination, a sense of humour and a willingness to work hard on his physio and succeed.”
The biggest event they have planned is a ball and three course dinner at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Marlow on Friday, April 19, from 7pm. Tickets are £45.
The next event is a quiz at Claytons Primary School on Saturday, March 9. Tickets are £10 and include a ploughmans supper. To book for either event call Judith Timewell on 01628 522854.
For more information and to donate money see: http://www.justgiving.com/nick-garnett