One Big Step for Daniel Launches; Aims to Raise £55,000 by March 2014

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5-year-old Daniel Pretty from Guildford, Surrey, needs an operation that will help him to walk. The surgery costs £55,000 and without it, he will be in a wheelchair for the rest of his life.

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We need to raise £55,000 by our March deadline next year. Our ultimate hope is that with the operation, Daniel will be able to walk without his wheelchair or walking frame.

Daniel Pretty, 5, from Guilford, has spastic cerebral palsy. His parents, Simon and Catherine Pretty, from Guilford, Surrey, have now launched the fund “One Big Step for Daniel” http://www.onebigstepfordaniel.co.uk to raise the money for the surgery that isn’t routinely available on the NHS. If the charity is successful in raising the money it could pave the way for future operations to be made available in the UK.

Daniel has spastic cerebral palsy, which means his muscles are very tight and he can’t stand or walk unaided. But, hope has been offered in the form of an operation called SDR – Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy, in America that will enable Daniel to take his first steps. Without it, his physical condition will decline.

Spastic cerebral palsy affects about one in every 300 children born in the UK. There is no cure. It is by far the most common form of cerebral palsy, accounting for approximately 75-88% of all cerebral palsy cases (obtained from http://www.scope.org.uk/help-and-information/cerebral-palsy/introduction-cerebral-palsy 23/08/2013) It is a form of muscle tightness that results in a decreased range of movement. The operation will be on Daniel’s spine and will permanently reduce his spasticity by removing the nerves that contribute most to it. The operation will not only greatly improve Daniel’s quality of life, but will also mean that future costs to the NHS will be significantly reduced.

Speaking on her son’s story, Mrs. Pretty said: “We need to raise £55,000 by our March deadline next year. We have already had some fantastic donations and cannot thank everyone enough for their generosity. But, we have a long way to go. Our ultimate hope is that with the operation, Daniel will be able to walk without his wheelchair or walking frame. We want to give him more freedom and independence; to be able to play with his little brother, Dexter.”

With the help of filmmaker Gavin Collinson, Simon and Catherine have created a moving and uplifting short film called ‘One Big Step for Daniel: How You Can Help a Child to Walk” with the intention of raising awareness and funds for Daniel’s cause. The video can be viewed at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7W6IJMqio0o&feature.

Providing the money is raised, Daniel will be treated by Dr. Park of St. Louis Children’s Hospital, who is a world pioneer and advocate of SDR. Dr. Park has said that: “If Daniel has the surgery required we feel that Daniel will be able to walk using crutches but has potential for independent ambulation (walking) indoors.”

For further information please visit the website at http://www.onebigstepfordaniel.co.uk.

For all press enquires, interview requests or high-res photographs, please contact Nicci Holliday, nicciholliday2012(at)gmail(dot)com|0773 0000 798

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Nicci Holliday