A YOUNGSTER from Northumberland is hoping the public will get behind him in raising enough money to allow him a life-changing operation.
Seven-year-old Callum Brown, from Derwent Road, Seaton Sluice, was born just three weeks early, but had immediate problems with his breathing.
The brave youngster spent seven days in special care where he had a bleed in his brain which had to be monitored.
Callum’s mum Sharon, said: “Doctors looked at his head when he was six months old and said everything was normal, but that wasn’t the case.
“We knew something wasn’t right.
“When he was 18-months-old he was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, which means that his legs are painful and stiff and he can’t walk on his own.”
The family found out about the life-changing surgery in the US earlier this year when family friend Lily Gordon, from Monkseaton, North Tyneside, underwent the selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery at the Children’s Hospital in St Louis in Missouri.
The youngster’s family and friends rallied around to raise the money needed to afford the operation, and now Sharon is looking to do the same for Callum.
“We are friends with Lily and her family and have watched the difference the operation has already made to her in such a short time, so we would love the same for Callum,” said Sharon.
“He really struggles with everyday things and can’t do all the things he would like to.
“He really wants to get his legs fixed.”
It is hoped the operation will enable Callum to walk unaided for the first time in his life, but pioneering surgery doesn’t come cheap, and Sharon and husband Neil are now on a mammoth fundraising drive to get the £50,000 they need to take Callum to St Louis for the surgery.
The family has set up Callum’s Wish to Walk, and is receiving help from the Rotary Club of Monkseaton Centenary, who will process all the donations and sponsors for gift aid as they did for Lily.
Sharon added: “We know it will take us a long time to raise £50,000 but if we can do it, then it could mean Callum’s life changes for the better, forever.
“It is miracle stuff, what they can do now, and we want the best for Callum.
“We have raised about £1,100 so far, and we are planning a series of events, including a table at a Christmas fair.
“We know it won’t be easy to raise the money, so any one who can help, it would be much appreciated.”
For more information visit www.callumswishtowalk.org.uk or visit www.justgiving.com/callumswishtowalk to donate.