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Thousands of pounds raised will 'transform' six year old's life

Published: 26 Aug 2014 16:300 comments

A PROUD mum was amazed after dozens of people packed into a family fun day to raise vital cash to transform her son’s life.

Pictured, Laura Callaghan with Billy Lucas, 6 and grandma Sandra Callaghan.

Laura Callaghan’s six-year-old son Billy Lucas was born with a rare type of cystic fibrosis, a genetic condition that causes his lungs and digestive system to become clogged with mucus.

His strain is so rare he is only the second person in the UK to have been diagnosed.

But Laura, 27, who lives in Bracknell town centre, and her mum Sandra teamed up with friends to organise a fun day at The Crown Wood pub in Opladen Way to raise cash for an airway clearance vest.

The event, on Saturday, raised an estimated £3,000.

The state-of-the-art vest will reduce the time Billy has to spend in hospital by providing vibrations to the chest wall that help clear the thick mucus and prevent infections.

Laura said: “It will transform his quality of life completely.

“At the moment we have hospital visits every month or two.

“It will hopefully stop any more infections and give us longer periods of time between hospital visits.

“That’s the thing about cystic fibrosis – it’s all on the inside.

“He might look normal but every time he eats he has to have medication and he has physio twice a day.”

At the event, children could get their faces painted, try their hand at the lucky dip and play games while parents could sample the tantalising home baking or browse the stalls.

Family friend Sadie Clarke, from Harmans Water, has helped set up a group – Billy’s Gene – to raise the £7,000 to buy a second-hand vest for the youngster, who goes to St Joseph’s CofE Primary School.

Laura said: “It has been really busy which is good and it is amazing so many people have come to help. I’m really proud.”

The group has now raised nearly £5,000 and hopes to raise enough cash to become a registered charity so it can help other children with Billy’s condition.

The next fundraiser is a car wash at Bracknell Fire Station from 10am-4pm on Saturday, September 6. To donate, visit www.billysgene.co.uk

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