Help pours in for Matthew

PUBLISHED: 17:21 19 October 2006 | UPDATED: 11:03 06 May 2010

Lucy Dale with Matthew and Rachel

Lucy Dale with Matthew and Rachel

MONEY and help have been pouring in for the family of a seriously ill boy since we revealed their plight in last week s Comet. One woman has promised several thousand pounds and a disabled woman sent a friend with a cheque for £500 to be added the campaig

MONEY and help have been pouring in for the family of a seriously ill boy since we revealed their plight in last week's Comet.

One woman has promised several thousand pounds and a disabled woman sent a friend with a cheque for £500 to be added the campaign.

Friends had started a campaign raising money after hearing about the financial suffering of Lucy and Gary Dale, of Eastbourne Avenue, Stevenage, who also have a daughter, Rachel.

The couple were devastated to learn in August that their three-year-old son Matthew had been diagnosed with cancer and only had a 30 per cent chance of survival.

The campaign was lead by family friend Sharon Colledge who recruited the David Lloyd Centre on Stevenage Leisure Park to help with fundraising.

When the cause kicked off at the beginning of this week club members set a target of swimming 14,000 sponsored lengths in seven days, and further promises of cash and raffle prizes were already starting to roll in.

By the end of the second day members had swum 4,000 lengths and the club offered 30 non-members the chance to join the fundraising programme if they donated £6 to compete in the swim.

Among the raffle prizes - tickets can be bought at the club's reception desk - are the chance to win a Mini convertible for a weekend and two annual VIP passes to the latest club on the Leisure Park, Liquid Envy, worth £2,000 each.

Other prizes up for grabs are a meal for two at Indian Hut and a meal at the Cromwell Hotel, a night out at The Hollywood Bowl for four, tickets to the champagne launch of the new BMW Mini, David Lloyd membership for a month, a meal for four at Pizza Hut, vouchers for the Outback Restaurant and Frankie and Benny's.

"The response since the story appeared in The Comet has been fantastic," said Mrs Colledge.

"There have been a lot of tears and smiles at David Lloyd because of the generosity of so many people.

"Liquid Envy has been marvellous and even offered to fly the family to Disneyland. Unfortunately Matthew can't go because he is too ill but the offer was marvellous."

Campaigners hope the final amount raised could well top £10,000.

Matthew was diagnosed with neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer and he has tumours in his body and face. The cancer has also attacked his bone marrow.

He is currently undergoing 70 days of intensive chemotherapy at Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.


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