Ipswich: Brooke’s dreams just two weeks from coming true

IN just two weeks’ time Brooke Lawrance will be undergoing the most important operation of her young life.

The six-year-old, of Morland Road, Ipswich, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy as a baby and has been confined to a wheelchair ever since.

But thanks to the generosity of family, friends and complete strangers, she will be having a life-changing operation to make her dreams of walking for the first time become a reality.

Parents Sarah and Peter Lawrance have been fundraising for the �70,000 needed for the pioneering surgery for just over a year and are within touching distance of their target.

Mrs Lawrance said: “I can’t explain how I’m feeling right now. I’m scared, anxious, excited – everything all rolled into one. “It’s the most amazing but scariest time of our lives at the moment.”

Brooke and her family – including her two sisters, Nadine and Neve, and brother Samuel – will be flying to America next Saturday.

They will be heading to St Louis Children’s Hospital in Missouri for the selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery on November 15.

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Brooke will also undergo a second orthopaedic operation on both her heel cords to achieve the best possible outcome of the main surgery.

Mrs Lawrance added: “The kids are looking forward to being on a plane for a long time – I’m not.

“Brooke is still upset she is going to be in hospital for her birthday but we are going to try and make it as special for her as we can.”

So far the Lawrance family has raised around �61,000 but need another �4,000, with Town 102FM pledging to donate the final �5,000.

But Mrs Lawrance was left heartbroken after a businessman vanished having promised to help raise money for the appeal.

As revealed in The Star last month, a car finance executive from Scotland offered to arrange rides in supercars as auction prizes but disappeared shortly after the successful bidders were due to collect their prizes.

“We offered the winners their money back,” she added. “One guy told us to keep the money and we’re still waiting to hear back from the other one.”

Upcoming fundraisers include a team climbing Mount Everest, a gents evening and Ipswich Greyfriars Round Table’s annual Santa and Rudolph float will be travelling around Ipswich in aid of the appeal.

Visit www.justgiving.com/brookeswishtowalk to donate Brooke.

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