Balloon race raises funds to help Toby walk

Help Toby Walk - Balloon Race Launch

One thousand balloons were launched from the Town Square on Saturday afternoon, in the latest event to raise funds to send a local boy to the USA for an operation that will help him walk.

Five-year-old Toby Cox, who attends Holy Trinity Primary School, was born with cerebal palsy. He can only walk with the aid of a frame and finds walking, playing and sitting difficult and uncomfortable.

Toby has been offered the chance of an operation at the St. Louis Children’s Hospital that will hopefully remove the spasticity in his legs and allow him to walk unaided with a significantly improved level of comfort.

The operation, planned for 17th June, will cost £36,000, of which just over £16,000 has been pledged so far.

Toby’s parents say they will pay for their own flight, together with food and accommodation costs for a one month stay in St Louis.

The balloons and gas for Saturday’s event were donated by McDonalds with Subway, KFC and Specsavers helping out when the gas ran out. Free ice cream for the helpers was provided by Carl of G & J Ices, whose van trades outside  the Willow Brook Centre at weekends.

Further fund raising events taking place in Bradley Stoke include a Toby Fun Day at Bradley Stoke Community School on Saturday 29th May and a Charity Shield Football Tournament at Bradley Stoke Leisure Centre on Saturday 5th June.

Numerous other fundraising events taking place further afield are listed on the Help Toby Walk website, through which donations can be made via PayPal. There is also a Help Toby Walk Facebook page, where the latest campaign news can be found.

More photos of Saturday’s balloon race launch: album; slideshow

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