£50k target now in sight for Lily

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A LITTLE girl hoping a life-changing operation could help her walk is getting closer to achieving her goal.

Lily Gordon, of Monkseaton Drive in Whitley Bay, suffers from crippling cerebral palsy.

The condition has caused a tightening of her leg muscles, meaning she has never been able to take her first steps on her own two feet.

The five-year-old’s family need to raise £50,000 to take her to St Louis in America for a selective dorsal rhizotomy, an operation which could enable Lily to walk without the use of a frame for the first time.

Her family – mum Joanne, dad David and sister Katie, eight – set up the HelpLily2StLouis fund to raise the money needed, and this week it passed the £30,000 mark.

“We are so grateful for all the money that is coming in for Lily,” said Joanne.

“We have had a lot of people just going out and doing things – cake sales, raffles and tombolas, walks, runs – and there is still more to come.

“We have also just done three bag-packs at Morrisons in Byker and Asda in Benton, where we raised more than £3,000 in three days.

“The surgery is booked for Monday, August 15, so we have a few months left to raise the rest of the money. Not raising the money isn’t an option.”

A succession of fundraising events has been lined up to help raise the remaining cash.

An abseil took place on Sunday at the Malmaison hotel in Newcastle, where more than 70 people raised money for Lily.

That will be followed by a 10-kilometre walk from Newburn to Wylam, Northumberland, and back next week.

A fundraising night is being held on Friday, June 10, at Marden Residents’ Club in North Shields. Tickets are £2, and there will be a raffle, bingo and disco, as well as a set by singer Josh McLean.

Stephane Bommel, a teacher at Lily’s school and also boss of Wideopen’s Bommel Musical Theatre School, is putting on a show at the Playhouse Whitley Bay on Wednesday, June 8.

Tickets, priced £8, are available by calling the box office on 0844 277 2771 or visiting www.playhousewhitleybay.co.uk

A show by north east comic Bobby Pattinson follows at the same venue on Thursday, June 23, at 7.30pm. Tickets are priced at £15.

And on Saturday, July 2, a fun day will be held at St Peters Church in Monkseaton.

“We are getting to our target, but we just need as much help as we can to get the amount we need so Lily can have the surgery,” added Joanne.

Visit www.helplily2stlouis.co.uk for more information.