Round Table collects thousands for six-year-old Christian

Christian Fortunato
Christian Fortunato

GENEROUS members of Hastings Round Table have raised thousands of pounds for a disabled boy.

People from the group, together with Hastings Beer and Music Festival committee members, combined forces to run last month’s Half Marathon course.

They tackled the 13.1-mile race while pulling Rhonda, the Beer Barrel Horse to help raise much-needed cash for six-year-old Christian Fortunato, who was born 12 weeks early and suffers with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy.

His family is battling to raise funds towards a life-changing operation for him, called a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), which will allow him to walk.

The youngster is able to walk a bit using a walking frame but in order to do this he needs daily physiotherapy.

His family, of Sunningdale Drive, St Leonards, needs to raise £30,000 as the SDR operation is not available on the NHS.

Since the fundraising drive was launched last November more than £19,000 has been donated by generous members of the public.

Tony Lee, chairman of Hastings Beer and Music Festival, said: “Thanks to the immense generosity of spectators lining the route we collected a rather heavy stash of loose change, amounting to £1,225, added to £300 donated by Pissarro’s and £130 from a local church collection, we raised in total £1,665.

“Hastings Round Table agreed to match, making the final amount £3,310 to add to Christian’s family’s £19,416.46 already raised through their JustGiving page.”

Ashley Varley and Max Fortunato, Christian’s dad, ran the entire Hastings Half Marathon pushing him round in his wheelchair, supported by a group of friends.

Mr Fortunato said: “Christian enjoyed the day very much, even if it was a little tiring for him; crossing the line in a very respectable one hour and 58 minutes.”

Christian is due at Leeds General Infirmary on Monday, April 14 for tests, with a provisional date set for Tuesday, April 22 for the operation if all goes to plan.

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