Last month I told you about a life changing moment I had at a Hartlepool United Football Club game.
To put it briefly, I found myself sitting next to a family wearing t-shirts saying “help Alfie walk”, so I went over to find out what it was about. I got chatting to Annmarie Stalley who told me she had set up a crowd funding campaign on Justgiving.com for her 9 year old son who needs life-changing surgery.
She told me she was crowdfunding to raise a total of £50,000 to help Alfie, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy at 16 months old, walk unaided for the first time. All her hopes are pinned on a pioneering operation called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) which is proven to help children walk again. But Alfie had to have the operation before June next year, or his condition will have degenerated too far.
I knew straight away that I wanted to do everything I could to help Alfie reach his target so I decided to match any funds raised on Alfie’s JustGiving page by Christmas.
When I met Alfie’s mum a month ago, I thought I would help out with a worthwhile cause one day, but never did I think I would be calling it one of the proudest moments of my life.
I had no idea how it would actually feel, and it really is so exciting to be part of something which will help to make such a difference to a little boy’s life.
To date, Alfie’s JustGiving page has reached over £16,000 and with my donation it’s at £32,000. I am so glad to say he has passed his half way funding goal. I am so proud to be supporting such a great cause and I know we can get Alfie the surgery he needs.
The support from Alfie’s community and the generosity of his friends has been overwhelming. A number of events have been held in Hartlepool with kind-hearted people determined to help Alfie achieve his dream to one day walk unaided and pain-free, from sponsored walks, Boxing Day dips and fun days.
In the post I wrote last month, I also recalled how my meeting with Alfie had come at the same time my girlfriend had asked for cosmetic surgery. Happily, I decided to do both, but I can honestly say my girlfriend is thrilled for Alfie and so proud of me too. She’s having her op next week.
Reaching £16,000 is life-changing news for Alfie and his family, I never thought when I attended that football match I’d end up meeting Alfie and getting involved to donate to such a worthy cause.
Visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/helpalfiewalk to make a donation.
And below is some of the press coverage surrounding Alfie’s campaign.