A very special little boy...
Date published: 06 August 2014
LEO Stott’s dream to walk will soon become a reality after his determined family hit their £45,000 fund-raising target in just eight weeks.
The final £10,000 came from Radio Yorkshire, a Leeds-based station owned by former Latics chairman Ken Bates.
Mr Bates, who was born with a club foot and spent his childhood in leg irons, heard about the Shaw toddler’s plight and decided he had to help.
Two-year-old Leo was diagnosed with spastic diaplagia cerebral palsy when he was a year old.
The spinal surgery he needs to correct his leg muscles and enable him to walk without braces and a frame is not currently available on the NHS so his family decided to raise the funds themselves.
Mr Bates said: “I think Leo is a very special little boy and his family have done so well to raise so much money to help him.
“They have never felt sorry for themselves, they have just got on with it. Leo has been raised to believe he can do anything and I believe he absolutely can.
“I am appalled that this kind of surgery isn’t funded by the NHS, forcing his family to have to raise the money for themselves and I am delighted that I have been able to help him achieve his dream.”
Through the generosity of Oldhamers, Leo raised £35,000 over the last two months thanks to a host of events including head shaves, skydives and bike rides.
Football-mad Leo was also Latics mascot at the recent pre-season friendlies at Curzon Ashton and at home to Huddersfield raising over £2,000 for his fund.
Leo’s mum Cara Oldham, of Shaw Road, was delighted when she heard from Mr Bates, also former chairman of Leeds United and Chelsea.
She said: “I received an amazing phonecall from Mr Bates and his wife Susanna who said they wanted to contribute £10,000. What fantastic people. We are beyond grateful.
The spinal operation, which will be carried out at Leeds Hospital, will release the tightness in his muscles allowing him to walk unaided and live a much more active life.
Anyone wanting to contribute to Leo’s fund can visit www.justgiving.com/leosdreamtowalk.
To read the full version of this story see the Chronicle’s E-chron digital edition or buy the newspaper.
Have Your Say