Online fundraiser to help Norfolk toddler with cerebral palsy get life-changing operation
- Credit: Sonya Duncan
She enjoys music, playing on the swings and making friends at her village toddler group.
But despite her 'charming', 'brilliant' and 'positive' attitude to life, three-year-old Alice Craythorne, from East Church Street in Kenninghall, faces more challenges than most youngsters.
Alice, who has a healthy twin sister called Mary and one-year-old brother called Toby, has spastic cerebral palsy meaning she cannot walk unaided or talk.
The life-long condition means her whole body is physically affected because of severe muscle tightening.
Her parents have set up an online Just4Children fundraising page to raise £50,000 for potentially life-changing spinal surgery - Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) - at London's Great Ormond Street Hospital and physiotherapy.
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The NHS does not fund the operation.
Her mother Sally Craythorne, 38, said: 'We thought we would quietly set up a JustGiving page and think about fun runs but people have been incredible.'
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After setting it up on Sunday and getting support from the charity Just4Children, which hosts the page, the Alice Appeal has raised over £3,400.
Mrs Craythorne, who praised the NHS for their ongoing support of Alice, added: 'We would like to give her the best chance in life, like every parent wants to. SDR is good to do when children are small.'
The mother-of-three added if SDR was not done her daughter would need to continue taking medication three times a day as well as undergo a several operations.
SDR could also benefit Alice's speech and her ability to use technology to communicate, which includes an iPad tablet.
Mrs Craythorne described her daughter, who wears leg splints and uses a wheeelchair, as 'up for anything' and 'bright as a button'.
Instead of words she communicates through her eyes.
'Whatever happens, Alice is Alice and she is brilliant - we love her,' Mrs Craythorne added.
Alice was born at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital 11 weeks premature on December 12 2014, weighing 4lbs.
Hospital experts spotted the youngster had experienced bleeds to her brain when she was just a few weeks old and she was diagnosed with cerebral palsy aged two.
To donate visit https://just4children.org/children-helped2018/the-alice-appeal/What is cerebral palsy?
Cerebral palsy is caused by damage to the fetal or infant brain.
It occurs when there is neurological damage before, during, or within five years of birth that prevents the brain from developing properly.
The man causes are infection in the early part of pregnancy; lack of oxygen to the brain; abnormal brain development; and a genetic link (this is quite rare).
The condition affects normal movement in different parts of the body and has many degrees of severity.
It causes problems with posture, gait, muscle tone and co-ordination of movement.
Cerebral palsy does not generally affect life expectancy.
Depending on how the condition is managed, motor skills can improve or decline over time.
In the UK, cerebral palsy affects about one in every 400 babies.
There are three main types of the condition but the most common one is spastic cerebral palsy, meaning muscle tone is stiff.