Charity Ball Raises Money for Child with Cerebral Palsy
Raising children can be difficult during the best times, and the challenges involved in that important endeavour only grow when your child is living with a condition such as Cerebral Palsy (CP). Louise Elliott is meeting the demands of bringing up her son Isaac, who has Spastic Quadriplegia CP, head on.
Elliott, of Reigate, Surrey, is fundraising for Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) surgery for Isaac at an American hospital in St. Louis. On 20th June she held the Hope for Isaac Charity Ball at the Reigate Manor Hotel. The event, which featured an auction, three-course meal and a performance by magician Lee Burridge, allowed Elliott to add another £3,900 to her fundraising total. So far, £17,080 has been raised of her £40,000 goal.
CP is caused by “damage to or abnormalities inside the developing brain that disrupt the brain’s ability to control movement and maintain posture and balance.” These disorders develop in infancy or early childhood, and permanently affect movement and muscle coordination. Symptoms often vary a great deal from one person to person, and can change in an individual over time.
Isaac’s diagnosis refers to his “stiff or tight muscles and exaggerated reflexes” and the fact that his entire body is affected. Elliott, who has four other sons, told the Surrey Mirror that Isaac is in pain continuously, which makes life incredibly trying for him and the family as a whole.
SDR would diminish Isaac’s issues with pain and mobility. During surgery the team uses “electromyographic (EMG) responses from muscles in the lower extremities” to identify the nerves that cause his spasticity. Abnormal nerves are cut, “resulting in a better balance of activities of nerve cells in the spinal cord” and reducing spasticity.
Elliott says the Mirror article served as publicity, but their most effective means of promotions was through the Hope for Isaac Facebook page. Highlights of the night for her were the magician’s card tricks and the “signed Chelsea Lampard shirt that sold for £750 in the auction.”
According to Elliott, first time event planners shouldn’t let stress get in the way. “This was my first fundraising event so I was really nervous,” she says. “My advice would be to plan and book everything in advance and make sure you have people sharing the event. Everyone had such a great time, the next day they were asking me to plan a Christmas one. So, straight away I scheduled another dinner-dance for November, which will be fully booked.”
How do you conquer first time event planning jitters?