The family of a Finedon teenager who needs a life-changing operation in the US on his legs say they are overwhelmed with the support they have received so far.
Ben Talbot’s family need to raise £30,000 to pay for the 14-year-old to travel to St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri where he will have pioneering surgery on his legs to help improve his quality of life.
Ben has a condition called global development delay which means he is unable to walk or stand and has poor communication skills.
His dad Paul said he and Ben’s family have been overwhelmed by the support they have received since launching the appeal.
He added: “I never imagined we’d be a third of the way towards the target within just a few months.
“People in Finedon have been really supportive and have pulled together enormously to help us.
“We’re really grateful to everyone who has come forward to help or made donations.”
The fundraising campaign has been heavily backed by the Finedon branch of the Royal Antediluvian Order of Buffaloes – also known as the Buffs.
The fundraising group has organised a number of events – including a recent banquet in partnership with the Kohinoor Indian restaurant in Finedon which helped raise £3,100.
Restaurant owner Zakir Abubacar said: “Ben’s a local boy and there were so many people from Finedon out to support him and his family on that night. It was fantastic.”
James Houghton, from the Finedon Buffs, said the group has a number of events lined up, including the Wheely Big Push in Finedon Green over the forthcoming bank holiday weekend, May 24 to 26, where people are being invited to bring prams, shopping trolleys, wheelbarrows or anything else they can find to push around the green in a huge sponsored event.
A charity quiz night is also taking place at Kennedys Bar in Finedon on Sunday, June 8.
Ben’s dad Paul works for Northamptonshire Fire Service and colleagues have arranged a sponsored cycle taking place from Corby Fire Station on Saturday, June 14.
Mr Houghton said: “I can’t believe how generous the people of Finedon have been.”
On top of the events, the Help Ben Appeal has been donated fundraising merchandise by Wellingborough-based BMT Stuff Ltd, a firm which produces promotional products.
Ben’s dad met up with the owners of the firm, Jack Thomas and Karl Clarke, on Tuesday to see the products, which include bags, pens and wristbands.
For information about all the events and the fundraising, visit www.helpbenappeal.com.