A little boy whose battle to walk has touched the heart of a community leaves for America on Saturday for surgery which could change his life.
Seb Brokenshire-Dyke, 2, from Snailwell was diagnosed with cerebral palsy in May last year. He will undergo a complex five-hour operation at the St Louis Children’s Hospital on Tuesday – almost a year to the day that his parents Lorna and James launched their campaign, Seb’s Legs, to raise £70,000 to fund the operation and intense physiotherapy to follow.
In April, the couple set a world record and raised over £15,000 by completing the London Marathon ‘three legged’, tied together to highlight the effects of spasticity on Seb’s legs. “We trained for six months, battling injury along the way but holding our son in our heart for every single mile,” said Lorna. “ We hoped that by announcing a grand challenge we might inspire others to take something on for Seb. The truth is we didn’t need to because he was inspiration enough.”
Family, friends and residents rallied to the cause and the first fundraiser was a pub quiz at the George and Dragon, Snailwell, in December which raised £705. Newmarket Post Office adopted Seb’s Legs as its chosen charity, there was a sponsored toddle at Newmarket’s Rowley Mile, a group of Ashley fundraisers led by Gloria Brown held a village sale raising £3,195, a race night at the Fordham British Legion raised £3,600, a series of pigeon auctions raised more than £6,000 and Snailwell company Tristel donated £7,500. These were just some of the fundraisers, challenges and events which helped the family reach their target.
And on Friday a celebration ball was hosted at Paddocks House in Six Mile Bottom, when Seb, and his twin brother, Solomon, were the special guests, which raised over £5,000 which has been spilt between four other children hoping to have the same SDR surgery as Seb, including four-year-old Oscar Parkinson from Red Lodge, whose parents have recently begun their fundraising campaign.
“We were devastated when Seb was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as we had no idea what his future would hold and how difficult his life might be. But our despair turned to hope when we found out how SDR would help him,” said Lorna. “We are so incredibly grateful to all of our family and friends, old and new, and even complete strangers, who have taken our son into their hearts to help fundraise for him. In particular the local community and local businesses have given us so much support and in doing so they have helped change a little boy’s life.
“It’s overwhelming what people have done for our family. Seb will soon be able to keep up with his twin brother and lead a more normal childhood. We couldn’t ask for more.”
n To see Seb’s video visit www.newmarketjournal.co.uk, where you can also keep up with his progress.