The mum of an eight-year-old who needs a bone marrow donation says she is grateful to staff at a shopping centre for their efforts in helping her son see his grandfather.
It was the only thing Keano Klein, who has a deficiency of white blood cells – meaning even minor illnesses could be very serious – asked for when he visited Father Christmas.
The youngster and his mother Chantelle Moore are Zimbabwean, and her father Trevor still lives there. The family want to bring him to the UK to see his grandson.
Keano has struggled to find a suitable bone marrow donor because of his mixed heritage, and Chantelle also wants to raise funds so tests can be carried out on his father to help determine what can be done for Keano.
Chantelle has praised the Newlands Centre and its manager Neil Griffin for their continued support for her son.
“Neil has been helping us for a long time,” she said. “The centre is trying to fundraise for my son. They have really gone out of their way.
“He [Keano] has been pining for my dad. We are also trying to make people aware and we are trying to do genetic tests on Keano’s dad.
“Because he’s so poorly his lungs are failing him. He’s got no immune system at the moment. He’s lost a tremendous amount of weight.”
Mr Griffin said people could donate spare change at a collection box in the centre.
He said: “We were asked to put the Nativity scene up and people said we should collect for something.
“When you meet him you can’t stop thinking about how it could happen to your own family. When he went to see Father Christmas the only thing he asked for was to see his granddad.”
But Mr Griffin added that while people could donate spare change, he would ensure a shortage of funds wouldn’t stand in the way of bringing Keano and his grandfather together.
He said: “If money is the only obstacle, we’ll find it.”
He said he was hopeful Keano would be able to see his grandfather in January once the necessary red tape had been negotiated.