Friends raise cash in bid to help Daniel walk

HELPING OUT Daniel Findlay, centre, gets a �2,800 cheque from fundraisers, from back left, Andy Earle, Su Whitlock, mum Sara Findlay, Karen Cake, Fran Povey and friend Michael Warmington. Front, Graham Howlett and Laura Barnes.     Picture: Steve Reid (110785-005)
HELPING OUT Daniel Findlay, centre, gets a �2,800 cheque from fundraisers, from back left, Andy Earle, Su Whitlock, mum Sara Findlay, Karen Cake, Fran Povey and friend Michael Warmington. Front, Graham Howlett and Laura Barnes. Picture: Steve Reid (110785-005)

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BRAVE Daniel Findlay has thanked his school for donating almost £3,000 towards an operation that could help him walk.

The 13-year-old was overcome when he was handed the £2,883.16 cheque – the result of relentless fundraising by students and teachers at Portchester Community School.

Daniel, who has a form of cerebral palsy that affects his ability to walk, said: ‘I feel touched that so many people have made a big effort for me.

‘I need to have the operation because it will help me in life – I would love to be able to walk and this wheelchair is getting more and more uncomfortable for me because I’m getting worse.

‘Portchester Community School has been like a family to me. I’m very happy to have so much support and so many friends here.’

Daniel needs £50,000 for two operations in a specialist American hospital this July – and this cheque has taken the total amount raised to just over the halfway mark.

Mum Sara, 50, who was initially worried they would not raise the £30,000 for the deposit in June, said: ‘I had been panicking over the last few weeks as we don’t have much time left, but now I’m confident we’ll get there.

‘I had no idea the school had raised this much money. They are all such good people.’

Portchester Community School raised the impressive amount over the past year through a combination of fairs and performing arts events as well as cake sales and sponsored silences.

Student Amy Kendall, 15, who helped raise £500, said: ‘We were so proud we were able to make a difference.

‘Daniel is one of us and we are 100 per cent behind him. It will be great to see him back after the summer holidays so we can celebrate his successful operation.’

The procedure Daniel is hoping to undergo is called dorsal rhizotomy which involves severing nerves in the spinal column that cause the tightness in his muscles. He will also need to surgery to lengthen his hamstring muscles.

Roger Matthews, headteacher, said: ‘Daniel is a deserving young man. He has a lovely presence around the school and sets a terrific example to his peers.’

Meanwhile, four members of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service will attempt to climb the three highest mountains in Scotland, England and Wales in just 24 hours in May to raise money for Daniel.

To sponsor them visit justgiving.com/Daniel-Findlay-Three-Peaks. Otherwise, donations can be made to justgiving.com/danielfindlayappeal