Brave toddler switches on The Forum’s Christmas lights

L-R: Shannon Frary, Karen Drane-Steel, Ria and Elliott Frary and Megan Frary at Tree Switch on for E

L-R: Shannon Frary, Karen Drane-Steel, Ria and Elliott Frary and Megan Frary at Tree Switch on for Elliot 2016. Photo supplied by Lindsey Roffe/Forum Norwich - Credit: Lindsey Roffe/Forum Norwich

Two-year-old Elliott Frary has battled a rare chromosome disease all of his short life.

L-R: Shannon Frary, Karen Drane-Steel, Ria and Elliott Frary and Megan Frary at Tree Switch on for E

L-R: Shannon Frary, Karen Drane-Steel, Ria and Elliott Frary and Megan Frary at Tree Switch on for Elliot 2016. Photo supplied by Lindsey Roffe/Forum Norwich - Credit: Lindsey Roffe/Forum Norwich

His family call him a 'little warrior' and he has now been given a special treat – switching on the Christmas tree lights at the Forum in Norwich.

Elliott's mother, Ria Frary said: 'When Elliott was born, I was rushed into hospital with suspected meningitis and sepsis but later discovered that my son had a rare chromosome disorder, officially diagnosed with IVN DUP DEL 8P.

'There are only 50 people in the country affected with this condition. It affects my son's walking, talking and mental development delay.

'It has been a very challenging journey and it is thanks to the Hamlet Centre and Nansa charity groups that have helped his physiotherapy development.'


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Mrs Frary added: 'Elliott is our little warrior. He takes everyday as it comes and is so brave. We visit the hospital numerous times a year for hearing aids and physiotherapy. We cannot fault the NHS as the paediatricians have been fantastic.'

The large decorated tree was donated to the Forum by Taverham Nursery Centre, which is owned by Elliott's great-grandmother, June Drane. She said: 'We have donated the tree to Elliott and the children to give something back to the community, it's not all about profit.'

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Elliott switched on the lights with Ben Langley, who plays Silly Billy in the Theatre Royal's pantomime Jack and the Beanstalk.

Throughout the festive period, visitors to The Forum's tree can donate to local charities Hamlet Centre and Nansa. Both offer support and services for disabled people in Norfolk. The collection tins sit underneath the tree until early January with the hope that the public will generously give this Christmas.

This is the second year running that the Drane family have decided to donate a Christmas tree. In the past, they have raised £2,000.

Are you raising money for charity? Tell us your story by emailing Local Life editor Eleanor Pringle at eleanor.pringle@archant.co.uk

For more on the pantomime, see Pages 20-21

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