A FATHER is gearing up for the Great South Run to raise money for his two-year-old daughter to have life-changing surgery.
Jamie Williams will take on the challenge on October 27 in a bid to raise funds to send Willow Scotney-Williams, who is almost completely blind, to China for stem cell surgery to help her see.
Willow, who also has hydrocephalus – water on the brain – and cerebral palsy, needs round the clock care.
The surgery would make it easier for her to cope with her conditions as well as improving the quality of her life.
Jamie, of Portchester Road, North End, Portsmouth, said: ‘We want to give her the best chance in life that we can and we know this works so it’s worth a try.
‘We don’t want her to grow up not ever being able to see anything.
‘Even if the operation only gives her a little bit of sight it would completely change her life.
‘She was only four months old when she went blind so she’s never seen what an animal looks like or her brothers Rafe and Tate – it’s heartbreaking.’
Jamie, 26, and Willow’s mum Gemma Scotney need to raise £25,000 for the surgery.
They have already raised around £5,000 through fundraising events, including selling wristbands, live band events, fun days and charity runs.
Gemma, 29, said: ‘It would make a huge difference to Willow if she got this treatment.
‘It would dramatically improve the quality of her life because it would give her more independence and it would allow her to enjoy the world.
‘She could see her two brothers for the first time and play with them and reach for her toys instead of not knowing where they are.’
Willow was born 10 weeks prematurely and diagnosed with a brain haemorrhages and hydrocephalus shortly after.
She had nine operations and spent the first six months of her life in hospital.
Her family and friends work tirelessly to raise cash for Willow and have held a number of fundraisers, including live music festivals and skydives.
For more information or to make a donation, see willowsvisionappeal.com