A CASINO night is to be the first in a series of fund-raisers for the Great Ormond Street Hospital. Simon Walker, 26, from Tean, is planning a number of charity events to boost funding for treatment of Aperts Syndrome at the hospital. The drive will culminate in him running the London Marathon next year – and it's all for his 10-year-old cousin, Billy Mitchell, who suffers with the condition.
Billy, who lives in Hertfordshire, has been a patient at the famous hospital after he was diagnosed with Apert Syndrome, a genetic condition which means part of his skull was fused together before he was born.
The condition affects the facial bones, ears, nose, throat and requires surgery throughout childhood.
Billy has had scores of operations and has received medical care since birth. He faces an on-going programme of operations and treatment as the condition will continue to affect him while he grows.
Simon said: “Seeing what Billy has gone through on a daily basis and what the team at the hospital do for him is just amazing.
“He has had more than 60 general anaesthetics and one operation meant his skull had to be cut open from one side to the other.
“To see what the hospital has done for him from the day he was born to now, 10 years later – it’s important that people recognise that.
“Billy is the happiest little kid in the world and I think having his twin sister is a massive help to him.
“I’m not really a runner – I play football and I’m fairly active, but I wanted to do something for Great Ormond Street and as it’s based in London, the marathon seemed the obvious choice.
“I took on one of the Great Ormond Street Hospital’s charity places for the London Marathon, so I need to raise at least £2,000 – but I am hoping to raise more than that.
“I really appreciate any help, support, donations or anything that people are able to give to help me raise as much as possible for the hospital.”
Simon is kick-starting his campaign with a casino night at The Star Inn, Hollington on Friday, November 30.
Doors open at 6pm and a variety of casino style games will begin at 7.30pm.
There will be live entertainment from singer Dave Golding and tickets are £10 for adults, while children can enter for free.
He has also set up a donation page at: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/simonwalker2019
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