Service wants 'Christmas miracle' for terminally ill boy
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A TOOWOOMBA support service is attempting to pull off a Christmas miracle for a terminally ill teenager, seeking donations from businesses and the public to fundraise for his devastated family.
The 15-year-old Darling Downs boy, one of five children, suffers from the extremely rare condition leukodystrophy.
According to Pro Help Australia founder and director Renee Ventaloro, only 12 people in the country have have the degenerative disease, which affects the brain, spinal cord and peripheral nerves.
"There is no known cure," she said.
"Three weeks ago he was able to move. Now he's pretty-well confined to a wheelchair. He gets up for a couple of minutes a day to keep his legs moving.
"Imagine being a mother to this kid. Imagine being a father and a sibling to this kid and death is about to become a very real part of your bubble.
"It's heart-breaking. This family has hit the wall in a massive way. He is viciously bullied at school, his health is deteriorating, his family is exhausted, it's coming up to Christmas, and they can barely afford a Christmas gift."
To help the family, Pro Help Australia is collecting donations of money, and gifts for the family - boys aged 6, 7, 12, and 15, as well as a girl aged 11, and mum and dad.
The family is also in need of food, a washing machine and a new mattress.
Ms Ventaloro also said she'd love to find a builder who was willing to donate their time and skills to help build the boy a wheelchair-friendly bathroom.
"We are about to try and pull a major Christmas miracle for this family because as it stands we might be the only hope they have to get one," she said.
"Please help us help them. If it was my family I would want somebody to do something."
For more information, phone 1800 Pro Help or head to the Pro Help Australia Facebook page.