by Shaun Moloney
MEET WESLEY – a little boy who with help from his local community could achieve his wish to live a normal life.
20-month-old Wesley Knight , from Guiseley, has cerebral palsy which has caused diplegia, a condition that affects his legs and means he is unlikely to walk without specific surgery.
Wesley’s family are trying to raise £50,000 to pay for a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) operation, which involves neurosurgery to reduce the muscle stiffness that prevents cerebral palsy sufferers from walking.
They then need a further £45,000 to support with two to three years of specialist intensive physiotherapy.
His cause has been taken up by Guiseley Lions and they are holding a six-a-side football tournament in conjunction with the Guiseley AFC Community Foundation in July.
Wesley’s mum Catherine Knight,41,said: “When we approached the Guiseley Lions with our plight they were more than eager to help us. The money raised from the tournament could make a big difference as we strive to reach our total for Wes.
“Because of SDR, it is now possible for children with Wesley’s condition to achieve full mobility and independence.”
The Guiseley Lions are looking for local people to enter teams or come along as spectators.
Guiseley Lions Treasurer Bob Banks said: “It is a lovely cause and we are delighted to support it.
“We took up a similar cause when Eve Williams from Menston was able to be sent to Missouri to get SDR, so we know that the operation can be very successful. Eve has made major improvements and is now able to walk with the assistance of walking stick.”
The tournament registration will be on Sunday July 21 from 9.30am, with the first matches starting at 10am.
All money raised will be divided equally between Wesley’s Wish charity and Guiseley AFC Community foundation.
The event is open to non-professionals over 16-years and the cost to enter is £5 per player, with a £10 deposit payable with each entry.
An application form can be found for the tournament on the Guiseley AFC website.
More information about Wesley’s cause can be found at http://www.wesleyswish.org.