A CALDICOT mum who is aiming to raise £40,000 for a pioneering operation to help her daughter walk on her own says she is touched by the support.

The Argus' sister paper the Free Press is backing Catherine Ashwell-Rice's appeal to help her daughter Imogen Ashwell-Lewis.

More than £1,250 has been donated to the cause in the first fortnight and now more individuals and organisations are being called on to donate.

St Mary’s RC Primary in Chepstow and the Chepstow Round Table branch are among local organisations to have pledged support by organising a non-uniform day and offering their manpower at fundraising events.

Ms Ashwell-Rice, 36, of Lapwing Avenue, launched the Help Imogen Walk campaign through the Tree of Hope charity so that Imogen, two, can have a radical procedure to save her from relying on a wheelchair.

Ms Ashwell-Rice said: “I’m really glad the Free Press have felt able to help us publicise our appeal. The publicity is not only raising awareness of Imogen’s case but also the fact that this life-changing surgery is not available on the NHS.”

Imogen was born 11 weeks early weighing 3lb 2oz. She suffers from a debilitating nerve-muscle condition known as spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which means she walks on her toes, has stiffness in her legs and poor balance and co-ordination.

The mum-of-eight hopes a procedure called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) will help avoid further muscle deterioration and stiffness.

In the first fortnight £1,275 came in, with one anonymous donation of £750.

To help, email cilycoed@gmail.com or visit Facebook page Help-Imogen-walk or justgiving.com/helpimogenwalk