Villagers pull together to raise money for life-changing surgery for three-year-old with cerebral palsy

Alice Craythorne, three, who has spastic cerebral palsy, with mum, Sally, and two family friends wh

Alice Craythorne, three, who has spastic cerebral palsy, with mum, Sally, and two family friends who have fundraised toward the £50,000 needed for an operation for Alice. Charlie, 13, cycled 70 km, and Betsy Looker, 11, cut her long hair. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY - Credit: Copyright: Archant 2018

The mother of a toddler who needs a £50,000 life-changing surgery has praised the community ahead of a village fund-raising day for her daughter.

Alice Craythorne, three, from East Church Street, in Kenninghall, who has a healthy twin sister, 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 family is on a mission to raise £50,000 for spinal surgery - Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) - at Alder Hey Children's Hospital in Liverpool as well as physiotherapy to help Alice.

The NHS does not fund the operation.

So far more than £10,000 has been raised via the online Just4Children fundraising page.

A special village fundraising event, called a Day for Alice, involving community groups and villagers is happening at Alice's home - Rose Cottage - on August 11, from 2-5pm.

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Alice's mother, Sally Craythorne, 39, who is a full-time carer for the three-year-old, said: 'Alice is getting funnier and more brilliant but still struggles. We are incredibly grateful to people who have made donations. People have been so generous.

'The whole community has been amazing. It is difficult to ask for help but people have been so forthcoming.'

Donations have come from friends, members of the public, Hall Farm Nursery School in Hargham, and charity fundraisers from the Kenninghall Kicking Cancer group,

Another donation came from Alice's godmother, top-selling Norfolk author Sarah Perry, who raffled a proof copy of her upcoming book Melmoth.

Two young fundraisers included family friends Charlie, 13, who did a sponsored 70K bike ride, and Betsy Looker, 11, from Long Stratton, who had her waist-length hair cut off.

'Charlie is a fantastic boy and Betsy's hair is her pride and joy,' Mrs Craythorne added.

She said the village fundraising day would be a fun day and include craft stalls, a grand raffle and children's activities.

Mrs Craythorne, who also has a two-year-old son, said the experience of fundraising for Alice had taught her she could lean on her community.

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