TODDLER Willow Scotney-Williams is closer to seeing the world for the first time thanks to generous well-wishers.
Businesses and readers have stepped forward to help her family in their bid to raise £25,000 for stem cell treatment which could save her sight.
Two-year-old Willow was born 10 weeks early at Queen Alexandra Hospital, Cosham.
She was diagnosed with a brain haemorrhage, followed by hydrocephalus – water on the brain.
As a result, Willow has cerebral palsy and is almost completely blind, as previously reported in The News.
Willow’s parents Gemma Scotney, 29, and Jamie Williams, 26, of Portchester Road, North End, need £25,000 to have stem cell treatment in China.
The family had raised £5,000 from a variety of fundraiser – and now a further £350 has been donated and businesses are coming forward to help.
Gemma, a community nurse, said: ‘We’ve had total strangers donate money on Willow’s website and people have come forward to organise events for us.
‘We’ve had donations from £2 to £100 from total strangers.
‘It’s overwhelming how kind and generous the general public are and for this we are very grateful.
‘It means that our goal is getting closer and it really is amazing that people are helping us.’
The family has 12 months to raise the money so Willow can have her operation next September.
The procedure would also help Willow’s cerebral palsy.
‘It would mean so much to us and for Willow’s quality of life,’ added Gemma.
‘I just want her to experience what other children do.
‘She gets so frustrated when she can’t get to things and it’s heartbreaking to see.
‘That’s why we appreciate all the help we can get to give Willow a better future.’
Relentless Steak & Lobster House, in Elm Grove, Southsea, is putting on a three-course meal for £35 for the appeal.
There are 100 places, for Thursday, October 11, with all money made from ticket sales going to the family.
People are being asked to arrive at 7pm for a 7.30pm start.
To buy a ticket, email email@example.com or call 07900 980125.
A dog show, due to take place in March, is also being organised to help raise funds.
To make a donation to the appeal, see willowsvisionappeal.com