The Furngate Sixes youth football club has raised more than £2,500 to help a Crawley toddler have a life-changing operation to enable him to walk.
Sonny Hamilton from Broadfield was born 29 weeks premature. Just before his first birthday it was confirmed he had four limb cerebral palsy, which particularly affects his ability to sit and walk.
He he now two years old and all he wants to do is be able to walk around and be involved in activities his friends are able to do, but to make this possible needs a selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) operation, which costs £80,000.
It is something the NHS will not fund, so in August last year, his mum, Katie Finkle, launched the ‘Sonny’s Dream to Walk’ campaign. The Furngate Sixes were quick to support them.
Club chairman Raj Dhiman said: “I have known the family for years and when we found out what the boy needed and saw the discussion on Facebook, we organised a fundraising event on November 11.”
It raised £2,665 and the club plans more events in the new year.
Katie said: “It means everything to me and my family to have the support from local people as it’s making Sonny’s dream to walk become one step closer.
“We are very touched by the hard work from others in helping us reach our goal and get Sonny the operation he desperately needs to be walking independently.”
Together with the football team’s donation, the family now have just over £14,500 in the fund - just 20 per cent of the way to target.
Many children with cerebral palsy have associated learning difficulties, however this is not the case for Sonny. He is therefore becoming increasingly frustrated learning he cannot do things his friends can do.
The SDR operation will help the muscle stiffness in Sonny’s legs and enable him to learn to walk for the first time. His family is hoping he will be able to have this by the time he is four, so it will not disrupt his education.
Katie added: “Sonny wants to be as independent as possible and for Sonny’s dream to come true would change his whole life, and as Sonny’s mother I am determined to make this dream come true and to let Sonny shine.”
To read more about his story and to support them go to campaign.justgiving.com/charity/just4children/sonnysdreamtowalk