Wheelchair dream for 11-year-old Tomas one step closer after auction raises more than �10,000

TOMAS Mayers’ eyes lit up when he heard that an auction to raise money to pay for a vital wheelchair raised more than �10,000.

The 11-year-old has Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) which means Tomas will be confined to a wheelchair for his short life. But his family has set their sights on a �20,000 powered wheelchair that will improve his independence.

DMD strips suffers of many functions – it produces complications with muscle weakness, complications with bones and joints, breathing and the heart.

The majority of patients do not live into their late 20s.

The �20,000 powered wheelchair, which is not available on the NHS, would be able to position Tomas in an upright position, putting him on eye level with his friends, move his legs, and, if he gets tired, move him into a horizontal position.

Tomas’ mother Tracey James, along with her sister Jackie Buckley and Huntingdon town councillors Tanya Forster and Jennifer Sarabia, organised a fundraising evening with a raffle which included tickets to high-profile television shows, the chance to meet Jonathan Ross and a signed photograph of the Arsenal football squad.

The event, on November 10, raised more than �10,000, including a �5,000 cheque from the Warham Family Trust, which has shocked Tracey.

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She said: “I was absolutely amazed how the community has got behind us. When I told Tomas how much we had raised the next morning, his eyes lit up. He’s very excited and just can’t wait.

“We only started planning this seven weeks ago and I can’t believe how much we have raised in such a short period of time. I never imagined that we’d raise it so soon.”

As well as raising the money, Jo Redmond has arranged for a Sporting Wish for Tomas ,so he will be chauffeur driven along with his parents to Arsenal’s training ground to meet the players.

“He doesn’t have a favourite so he’s looking forward to meeting all the team,” Tracey, of Boothe Close, Stukeley Meadows, added.

Huntingdon mayor Councillor Colin Hyams has offered his stall at the town’s Christmas light switch-on, on November 26, to the family to sell mulled wine, mince pies and Christmas biscuits to help boost the funds.

INFORMATION: If you would like to donate, you can pay via PayPal to tomsfundraising@gmail.com. For more call Cllr Forster on 07863 209081.