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Friday, 22 August 2014

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Barrow boy’s family ‘overwhelmed’ as fundraising target is reached in days

THE “amazing” people of Furness have helped a family achieve a fundraising goal so they can bring their brave Barrow boy home.

In four days the community has rallied together to raise more than £13,000 and offer time, labour and potential materials, so courageous Leon O’Neill can have his Barrow home adapted.

The 10-year-old, who has twice fought leukaemia, tragically suffered irreparable brain damage after having rare and catastrophic side effects to urgent treatment for the glandular fever virus at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

Leon, who last summer had a bone marrow transplant, is now in a vegetative condition. Medics have said he will not recover and he is receiving palliative treatment.

Leon is at Furness General Hospital and his family are desperate to get the building work started on a bedroom and facilities for him.

Leon’s story touched the hearts of the community.

The Evening Mail set up a Crowdfunding page online for Leon which had a huge response. The page was originally set up to raise the full £20,000, but because of the donations of money, cheques, events, offers of people’s expertise and material pledges, the online target was capped at £5,000 at the request of the family, who said they do not want to accept more than they need.

A cake sale, organised by family and friends of Leon, raised £1,200 on Saturday.

People who did not know Leon or his family made a variety of cakes to add to those made by the organisers.

Children have given their pocket money and families and individuals have dug deep.

The family still has a few pre-organised fundraising activities which are going ahead for Leon’s ongoing needs.

Leon’s mum, Caroline Bottrell said: “It’s so overwhelming, it’s a lot of money that people have donated. It has really taken us back, it’s just amazing. People are so generous. Thank you. This will allow us fund what we need to do.”

The application for planning permission is still in the process.

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