IT’S taken two years of hard fundraising but now they’ve done it – they’ve hit Grace’s Goal.
The family of six-year-old Grace Shiers, who was born with cerebral palsy, have worked tirelessly, holding events and raising donations to reach £42,000.
And now they have hit the target, Grace will go to Bristol on Monday for the surgery that could eventually see her walking unaided.
Parents Katy Woodley and David Shiers, both 30, say they are over the moon.
Katy, of Farmlea Road, Portchester, said: ‘We want to say thank you to all those people that have helped us get to where we are now.
‘This is something we have been working on for two years, so it’s both exciting and a bit nerve-wracking.
I am immensely proud of Grace for getting to where she is and that’s thanks to the donations we’ve had that have paid for to have therapy sessionsGrace Shier’s mum Katy Woodley
‘I’m trying not to think too much of the operation, but more about all the things Grace will be able to do afterwards, like running around in the playground, walking unaided and being set up for the future.’
And young Grace said she’s looking forward to jumping.
She said: ‘The operation means I will be able to walk on my own and it’s someething I have wanted to do for a long time.
‘I would also like to jump and wiggle my toes.’
Initially Grace’s Goal had a target of £65,000 so she could go to America for the non-NHS funded operation.
The severity of her condition meant she was initially not eligible to have the operation in Bristol.
But a scan last year found Grace has fluid on her brain and meant she could no longer go to America.
So for the past six months, £105 a week has been spent on personal training and physiotherapy sessions to ease the severity, which means she does qualify for the operation in the UK and it will be paid for by the NHS.
Katy added: ‘I’m immensely proud of Grace for getting to where she is and that’s thanks to the donations we’ve had that have paid for her to have therapy sessions.
‘She has worked her little bum off in her physio sessions, including intense sessions that cost £1,500 a time.
‘The money is held by charity Tree of Hope and the personal trainers and physiotherapists bill them directly – I don’t have access to the money and all of it is spent on Grace’s care.’
Grace will have a procedure called selective dorsal rhizotomy.
It involves cutting nerves in the lower spine that are responsible for muscle rigidity – depending on how many nerves are cut will mean the procedure could last up to five hours.
This eases muscle spasticity and improves mobility.
Grace will then be in hospital for another three weeks followed by a year of physiotherapy to help her move, which will be paid for with the raised money.