Campaign for a Scarborough toddler's life-changing operation raises £12,000 - but there is still a long way to go

Manager Tracey Elliott- Hobson at Skylark Nursery presenting a 500 cheque with staff to the Get Max Moving  charity with Catherine and Paul Turner.
Manager Tracey Elliott- Hobson at Skylark Nursery presenting a 500 cheque with staff to the Get Max Moving charity with Catherine and Paul Turner.

A fundraising campaign for a Scarborough toddler’s life-changing operation has raised £12,000.

Earlier this year, Catherine and Paul Turner set up the £100,000 campaign for their son’s operation, known as SDR (Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy), to increase the chances of Max being able to live and walk independently.

Max Turner was born six weeks premature, along with his sister Alice, but during birth Max suffered lack of oxygen to his brain and was later diagnosed with cerebral palsy spastic diplegia.

The Turner’s kicked off their fundraising on September 1 with a Summer Fun Day St Marks Church, Newby. The event including tombola, raffle, bouncy castle, face painting, craft stalls and BBQ raised £2,235.

Catherine Turner, Max’s mum, said: “The support has been absolutely fantastic and it’s got Max’s story out there to friends and family.

“There has been lots of interest since we started fundraising and people have done runs, someone has done the Great North Run recently, Scarborough 10k, Barnsley 10k, ultra marathon, road race and rainforest cycle.

“We’re currently at just over £12,000 so were getting there slowly but surely.”

Paul Turner, Max’s dad’s Coast2Coast cycle from Morecambe to Scarborough has also raised £3,607 towards the operation.

Skylark Day Nursery, that Max attended for one year until September, has also raised £500 towards Max’s operation.

Tracey Elliott-Hobson, manager at Skylark’s, said: “We started fundraising last year and raised nearly £1,400 for a specialist chair for Max which was fitted especially for him and allowed him to sit with the other children.

“We started fundraising again and we held a garden party, sponsored singathons and collections. So £500 will be given to Max and £400 to our garden project.”

The operation that will hopefully change Max’s life is unfortunately not available on the NHS, so the family have applied to the world-leading paediatric neurosurgeon, Dr TS Park in St Louis, Missouri.

Paul, 38, said: “The operation itself will cost £50,000 and the remaining £40-45,000 will pay for three years’ intensive physio after the surgery then the left over money will go towards travel to America. The operation includes cutting some of the nerves in the spine to reduce resistance in his muscles.”

The couple said: “Difficulties aside, Max is a beautiful boy and melts our hearts with his infectious smile and is very chatty alongside Alice and he makes us proud every day.”