THE family of a Dodworth youngster who has been diagnosed with a disease which affects his nerves is hoping to raise funds for a charity which sends ill kids to America – after he benefited himself last year.
Connor Harry Bray, 12, has a condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease (CMT), also known as hereditary motor and sensory neuropathy.
CMT is a group of inherited conditions that damage the peripheral nerves, which are found outside of the main central nervous system in the brain and spinal cords.
People with CM may have muscle weakness, an awkward way of walking, highly-arched feet or numbness in their arms and hands.
Last year, Harry was chosen by Dreamflight – a registered charity – to take part in a holiday of a lifetime to Florida, free of charge.
He travelled with a group of 191 other children to the US and his mum, Anita Bray, said he had an amazing time.
To return the favour, both his mum and ‘fundraising-mad’ Judy Holling are attempting to raise a great deal of money through a number of fundraisers.
Judy is currently a member of the Grabby Grannies which raise funds for Barnsley Hospice at the Heaven and Ale pub on Agnes Road in the town centre.
They’ve raised £8,000 for the hospice since they started – and now Judy is turning her attention to the charity which supported her grandson.
She said: “I didn’t know anything about Dreamflight.
“A physio at Barnsley Hospital but Connor’s name forward and there was two people from Barnsley who went.
“Connor has a condition called CMT, it’s to do with his nerves – he suffers with a pain at the bottom of his legs.
“He had an operation two years ago where they swapped all of his tendons around.
“They took a bone out of his hip and put it in his foot to strengthen it.
“It’s not a cure, but it just delays it.
“Connor went last October – he’s kept friends with people who he went with.”
Judy and Anita have earmarked three dates to raise money for the charity.
They have held the first at Heaven and Ale, with another two set to take place over the coming week.
Tomorrow from 12.30pm an event will take place at Dodworth Bowling Club, then the final event will be held at Dodworth WMC on April 23 at 1.30pm.
“We’ve been at Heaven and Ale for 18 months and we’ve raised £8,000 for Barnsley Hospice,” she added.
“We decided that we wanted to do a fundraiser so another kid can go because they can only do it once.
“We’ve got three fundraisers for it with a finale on April 23 at Dodworth Working Men’s Club where we’ll be handing over the money.
“We’re just wanting to raise as much money as possible to help another kid out.
“Any donations will be gratefully received.”
A spokesperson for Dreamflight said the trip is more than ‘just a holiday’.
“We believe it is important to bring some fund and joy into the lives of children whose conditions have brought them pain, distress and disruption,” they added.
“Priority is given to those who would otherwise not have such an opportunity due to their medical conditions or social circumstances.
“Dreamflight is not just holiday but can be a life-changing experience for these most deserving children.
“They are accompanied by volunteer escorts, mostly from the medical professions, together with some non-medical escorts – people who have supported and fundraised for Dreamflight throughout the year.”