A MAJOR fundraising campaign is under way to help send a little girl from Ebberston to America for life-changing medical treatment.
India Robertson, who has cerebral palsy, could soon be on her way to St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri – but only if the family can raise £60,000 to cover the costs.
The family has just heard that 11-year-old India is a suitable candidate for selective dorsal rhizotomy treatment.
This involves surgery on the spinal cord which would help relieve spasms in her legs, hopefully enabling her to walk more easily.
India uses a wheelchair to get around, though she can manage at home with a walking frame.
Her dad James Robertson, an A&E doctor at Scarborough Hospital, said: “When we heard India would be suitable for treatment we were delighted, but daunted too.”
He added: “The younger the child is, the better the result, so time really is of the essence.
“We’re hoping we can go in July this year so India doesn’t miss any time at school.”
Mum Jennie explained: “India is a really sociable and happy girl. What upsets her most is that she can’t do everything she wants and sometimes gets left behind.
“She wants to be a part of everything.”
India, who was born prematurely at 31 weeks and battled meningitis at the age of two, has been going to Stagecoach Theatre Arts since the age of five and is also a Guide.
In the last couple of years she has learnt to swim and gained her 400m badge just before Christmas.
India planning a sponsored swim at Pickering to help fund her treatment and physiotherapy.
Family and friends are rallying round to help and many fundraising events are already in the pipeline.
A family friend is doing a sponsored head shave, two are doing 10K runs, and a coffee morning and karaoke disco are also planned.
Dr Robertson is also trying to arrange a 999 Ball, which will hopefully take place at Scarborough’s Spa Complex.
He said: “Everyone has been great. Stagecoach have been very keen to help are doing the Walk for Life for India.
“We’re trying to get a team together for the Dragon boat races at Wykeham and we’ve got a couple of friends who have promised to throw themselves out of a plane!”
The family is hoping people will get behind the campaign and perhaps arrange their own fundraiser at their school, workplace or local pub. An account has been at the Yorkshire Building Society called the “Send India to St Louis Appeal”.