Fundraisers near target to help Cwmbran boy walk
THE CAMPAIGN to raise money for a vital operation that will allow a Cwmbran youngster to walk has raised more than 80 per cent of the funds needed.
Seven-year-old Ethan Jolosa, who has spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, needs a £40,000 operation and his family have been raising money since May last year.
In the first three months they raised £16,000, and in October 2012 they reached the halfway mark on their JustGiving page.
Now the end is in sight as the fund reaches £34,000 and Ethan looks set to have his operation later this year Ethan’s mum, Leah, said: “We have our first appointment with the surgeon in February, so the ball is rolling.
“It’s exciting as we have been waiting so long, and it’s been a crazy few months of fundraising but now it all seems real.”
She explained that the fund has suddenly been given a boost as businesses have made donations, including Bron Afon, Eon, Swalec, and Asda.
Local groups have also raised funds, including First West Pontnewydd Beavers, Cwmbran Otters and Pontypool Round Table.
She added: “The support has just been phenomenal.
Plans are already in place for future fundraising events so we will reach our target.”
Ethan was born nine weeks early, weighing 4lb, and spent two months in hospital.
He recovered well but was diagnosed with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy at around 18 months.
The condition means the muscles in his legs are extremely tight and painful and force him to walk on the tips of his toes.
As a result his feet cross over when he walks and he has to use a frame, which leaves him exhausted, or a wheelchair to get around.
The brave Pontnewydd Primary School pupil undergoes daily physiotherapy and has even had Botox injections to relax his muscles and ease his pain.
The fundraising campaign was lauched last year to fund pioneering surgery at Bristol’s Frenchay Hospital that would change his life.
The operation, which costs £25,000, will relax the muscles in his legs, allowing him to walk normally. However, he will then face 18 months of specialist physiotherapy, costing £15,000, to teach him to walk again.
To make a donation visit www.justgiving.com/Ethanjolosa
COMMENT: Ethan’s gift so amazing
THE generosity of Argus readers never ceases to amaze and inspire.
Times are tough and household budgets are tight, but community spirit continues to overcome when those in need ask for help.
The success of the appeal to help Cwmbran youngster Ethan Jolosa is a case in point.
The seven-year-old has a form of cerebral palsy that means he needs pioneering – but expensive – surgery to help him walk normally. The surgery and follow-up physiotherapy costs £40,000 and his family launched a fundraising campaign to pay for the treatment in May last year.
Just eight months later £34,000 is in the fund and Ethan has his first appointment with his surgeon booked for next month.
It is a remarkable amount of money to raise in such a short time, but shows again the immense power of community spirit in this part of the world. Businesses, charity organisations and individuals have dug deep to help Ethan.
Most of the people who have donated money have never met and probably will never meet Ethan. But everyone who has raised funds knows they have contributed to what will be life-changing surgery for the Pontnewydd Primary School pupil.
When Ethan has his operation – and it is now undoubtedly a case of when rather than if – he will be given a gift that many, many people have played a part in providing. It is a wonderful story.