Newport Gwent Dragons stars back campaign to help toddler walk
10:51am Thursday 21st February 2013 in Campaign news
A CAMPAIGN to raise £60,000 to help a brave toddler walk has raised nearly £6,000 in less than a month with Newport Gwent Dragons players among the supporters of the cause.
Family and friends of twoyear- old Maisie Cooper, of Crosskeys – as well as members of the public – have been touched by the youngster’s story as her parents strive to raise £60,000 so she can undergo pioneering surgery in the United States to help her walk.
The Argus previously reported how Maisie suffers from spastic diplegia cerebral palsy.
The life-changing operation would reduce the tightness the youngster currently suffers from in her muscles and may mean that with the help of physiotherapy, she will be able to walk unaided.
Following the launch of the campaign by Maisie’s parents Gareth and Hayley Cooper at the end of January, sponsored events and donations have already raised around £5,800.
Even Newport Gwent Dragons players are getting in on the campaign with players such as Andrew Coombs following the youngster’s campaign on Twitter and other players posing for pictures with Maisie at games.
The players also donated items for the family to auction off including a signed rugby ball and Coombs also donated a rugby top signed by the team.
A piece on Maisie also appeared in amatch day programme.
Others have also been getting involved – including Mr Cooper himself who braved having his legs waxed to raise £300 while a bag packing event at Tesco, Risca, raised £1,413.
The Argus previously reported how Maisie was born 11 weeks early weighing just 2lbs 14oz at birth.
She then spent the first 11 weeks of her life in the neonatal unit at Newport’s Royal Gwent Hospital battling problems including bleeding on the brain and problems with her heart.
Twelve months on, her consultant diagnosed Maisie with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy.
Speaking about the success of the campaign, Mr Cooper said: “We are really grateful to all the people who are willing to put their hands in their pockets.”
More events are planned in aid of Maisie, including a football tournament and charity nights, as well as a three peaks challenge.
For more information visit stepstohope.co.uk