Effort to ‘swim channel’ for Kai

Kai Hodgkinson, of Fleetwood,  needs an operation in America to help him walk.
Kai Hodgkinson, of Fleetwood, needs an operation in America to help him walk.

A FLEETWOOD family who are trying to raise money to get their little boy life-changing surgery in America have said a huge thank-you to fund-raisers.

There is still a long way to go but Kai Hodgkinson’s family are hoping to reach their £60,000 target in 2013 so Kai, who suffers from cerebral palsy, can have surgery to help him walk.

They have been overwhelmed by the generosity of people towards their Weekly News-backed Kickstart for Kai campaign, which has reached £12,000.

The four-year-old’s mum Caron Hodgkinson, of Hesketh Place, said they are hoping Kai can undergo his operation soon because he is beginning to struggle more with his walking and will now need a wheelchair.

She added: “It’s heartbreaking to see him, we really thought he would have had his operation before the need for a wheelchair.

“But things are going well and we are getting there.

“We have noticed even more this Christmas how desperate he is to be able to walk.

“Last year he was younger and was happy to sit on the chair, but this year we have watched him concentrating so hard on standing to be able to play with the toys he got for Christmas.

He is so unbalanced and it’s upsetting to see him trying so hard.

“But hopefully he will be able to have the surgery this year.”

The latest fund-raiser was a sponsored swim at Fleetwood Nautical Campus.

But it wasn’t an ordinary sponsored swim. Students at the campus set a target to swim the distance of the Channel Tunnel, in the pool at the campus. And they actually exceeded their expectations.

Caron said: “They managed to raise £1,200 for Kai, which is absolutely fantastic, we can’t thank them enough.

“Fundraising is also going on at Fleetwood High School and also at Millfield High School. Both schools raised money through their Christmas Fairs and at Fleetwood High, they held a bug eating contest similar to what they do on I’m A Celebrity Get Me out Of Here!’

“This time though it was the teachers eating the bugs. They were on stage wearing Australian bush hats and they sold tickets to pupils who went to watch. It’s uplifting to see schools wanting to help. We are now organising an old fashioned sports day in March with help from the police, fire brigade and ambulance who have stepped in to support it. Hopefully it will be an annual event which will serve as a fundraiser for other charities in the future.”