Fundraiser to help Leo walk again gets £1,000 cash boost

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On Thursday, March 23, the Head of a Masonic Order in Sussex, known as the Red Cross of Constantine attended the Tree of Hope to present £1,000 to the Leo Leyland fund.

The Head was accompanied by his deputy and two members of his Order to Salford House in Tonbridge to present the cheque, from the Grand Sovereign’s Care for Children Fund.

The Grand Sovereign is the head of the entire Order for England, Wales and its Divisions and Conclaves overseas and the Head of Sussex was invited by his team to make a nomination to receive a donation, which clearly was successful.

They were met by the Tree of Hope family support officer Georgina Sales, Leo’s mum Tarnia and his dad, Stefan Leyland, who accepted the cheque on behalf of the Tree of Hope.

Leo was born 10 weeks premature and suffered a pre-birth haemorrhage in his brain, resulting in him getting Hemiplegia Cerebral Palsy. Because of this, he has high muscle tone in his leg and arm resulting in a form of toe poking and closed fist.

There is a life-changing new pioneering operation that Leo can have called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR). Unfortunately, the NHS will not fund this and he will need private care in America.

Without this operation, Leo will find it very difficult to be mobile for the rest of his life but he must have this operation before he is five years old.

His family have, to date, raised £28,000 (before this presentation), towards the £70,000 required to give this little boy a normal life.

Paul said he was extremely pleased to make the presentation of the cheque for £1,000 from the Grand Sovereigns Care for Children Fund, as it will benefit Leo, bringing him nearer to a dramatic change in his life for the better.

Paul added that the presentation of the cheque reminded him that there are still many children suffering from terrible conditions, but being well cared for and his hope is that Leo’s family succeed in raising the remainder of the money required.

They have now, with this donation, raised £29,000.

If you would like to help Leo reach his target you can donate even the smallest amount at www.treeofhope.org.uk/helpleotowalk or please contact Georgina Sales at the Tree of hope on 01892 535525.

Finally, Paul presented a soft cuddly teddy bear to Leo, who seemed rather more enamoured with the chocolate bar he was eating...

• The photo shows the presentation, with the Head of the Order Paul Rose in the centre presenting the cheque to Stefan, with Tarnia and Leo lower centre.

The other people in the picture are:

The back row from left to right are Andy Knight (divisional recorder), Mike Chambers (divisional sentinel), Stefan and Paul, Tree of Hope’s finance manager David Grist and Bernard Marchant (deputy Intendant-General).

The front row from left to right are Elizabeth Alvey, Tarnia and Leo, Georgina Sales and Catherine Marsh. Elizabet, Georgina and Catherine all represent the Tree of Hope.

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