SUPPORTERS of the Help Toby Run With His Friends campaign will be among the first to cross the biggest viaduct in the county.
Save Sunday, September, 13, in your diary and help six-year-old Toby Booker, who has cerebral palsy, to raise funds for a life-changing operation costing £40,000.
Join the special charity Viaduct Walk between 10am and 4pm and be one of the first people to walk across the new viaduct, currently under construction to relieve the traffic between Bognor and Felpham.
Event organiser Liz Lawrence, a close family friend, said: “When we found out from Great Ormond Street Hospital that Toby was among the few suitable candidates for this new operation, which unfortunately is not available on the NHS, together with two of my close friends, Michaela Tribe and Steve Akehurst, we decided to organise a special event to raise money towards the operation.
“We are really grateful to Ian Wallace, managing director of Barratt David Wilson Southampton, which has financed the construction of the viaduct, who is allowing us to let people experience the amazing views across the countryside from the viaduct before it opens to traffic in 2016, so that we can raise much-needed funds towards the cost of Toby’s operation.”
Tickets for the Viaduct Walk will cost £5 per person and will be available soon, together with a sponsorship form.
Toby, who lives with his parents Jess and Ian and brother Harry in Havelock Road, Bognor Regis, arrived prematurely and was not expected to survive.
Having undergone a series of treatments to help his mobility, the news from Great Ormond Street Hospital that Toby was a good candidate for the new SDR operation and that he has been put on the waiting list is a lifeline for him, his parents and all his friends.
Liz added: “Toby really is such a brave little boy who enjoys life and is as active as he can be, but as he grows gets taller and heavier, without the help of this pioneering operation, his legs won’t be able to support his weight.
“His parents have taken on the mammoth task of raising the money needed for the operation and we want as many people as possible to come and join in the fun on September 13 and help raise money towards the £40,000 needed.”
On the same day, an evening concert featuring 30 West End musicians and about ten soloists, some West End some local, will be held at the Regis Centre, in Belmont Street, Bognor Regis.
Tickets for West Side Story in Concert, at 7.30pm, are £18 (£16 concessions), available from the box office on 01243 861010. All proceeds will go to the Help Toby Run With His Friends campaign.
Visit www.tobybooker.co.uk for more information about the campaign and to keep up with news on events.
Visit www.gofundme.com/skc58k to make a donation online, or cheques can be made payable to Toby Booker SDR and sent to the Observer, c/o Elaine Hammond, Chichester Observer, City Gate, Southgate, Chichester, West Sussex, PO19 8DQ.
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