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Tuesday, 30 June 2015

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Donations flood in for Barrow boy's appeal

A BARROW family appealing for help to bring their brave boy home from hospital have been overwhelmed by the generosity of the community – as the Evening Mail sets up an online donations page.

APPEAL Leon O’Neill, whose mum Caroline Bottrell wants to build a special room for Leon so that he can come home from hospital JON GRANGER REF: 50027851B001

Click here to donate

Ten-year-old Leon O’Neill, who has twice fought leukaemia, has tragically suffered irreparable brain damage after having extreme and rare side effects to medication he received at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital to treat the glandular fever virus.

Medics have said he will not recover and he is being given palliative treatment.

The courageous lad from Newbarns, Barrow, is now in a vegetative state at Furness General Hospital in Barrow.

Leon’s family are appealing for support to raise £20,000 to adapt their Middle Hill home and create a new bedroom and washroom for their son so he can come home from hospital.

Following the Evening Mail coverage about Leon’s plight, his story has touched the hearts of the Barrow and Furness community and those further afield.

The Evening Mail has set up a ‘Crowdfunding’ page online for Leon. It raised £1,000 in just a few hours and has climbed during the weekend. As of yesterday evening £4,537 had been raised. Pledges of £20,000 need to be made on the fundraising page in 30 days for the total to be achieved.

In addition to the online page, The Lake District Farmers Armstrong Family Charitable Fund – set up by the late Ray Armstrong – got the ball rolling with a £1,000 donation, and others have followed.

The Evening Mail has been inundated with individuals wanting to support Leon with donations and by organising their own fundraising events.

Barrow Raiders fans raised more than £650 through a bucket collection, while a garden party organised by family of Leon raised more than £230. Leon’s relatives also put on a cake sale at Vickerstown Methodist Church on Saturday.

A number of other businesses have offered support, including Top Shine Hand Carwash Ltd, in Hibbert Road, Barrow, which will donate the takings from car washes on Tuesday June 17 to Leon, while Little Subs in Rawlinson Street is organising a family event, date to be confirmed. Music acts will perform, there will be Disney princesses and superheroes and use of the play equipment, with all the money going to Leon.

Leon’s mum Caroline Bottrell, said: “We are completely overwhelmed by the generosity shown. “We want to say a big thank you to the people who are donating and supporting this.”

The most effective way to donate is via the ‘Crowdfunding’ page click here to visit it, – but people can make cheque donations, written out to, Leon O’Neill, which can be handed in at the Evening Mail office in Abbey Road, Barrow.

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