Joseph's Dream Team is a six person team completing the three peaks challenge to raise money for the Joseph's Dream Charity. The team is made up of Sarah Williams, Jay Biro, Paul Williams, Ian Knight, Andy Biro and Darren Woodman.
Joseph is a typical, very loving, although just as often very cheeky, 4 year old boy. His favourite things include swimming, cooking, and playing his many toy vehicles, although the crane and construction set are the most loved! He's adventurous and will give anything a go!
The only thing that makes Joseph different to his peers, is that he can't walk without the help of his kaye walker. Joseph's cerebral palsy causes his leg muscles to permanently be stiff and painful. His upper body isn't affected. He isn't able to walk with his feet flat to the ground, walking very high on his tip toes.
Joseph needs an operation called Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) which is a surgical technique developed to reduce spasticity and improve mobility in patients with cerebral palsy and lower extremity spasticity. It involves the selective division of sensory rootlets in the lumbosacral spine, maintaining a balance between elimination of spasticity and preservation of function.
Basically, Joseph would have an incision made in the lower part of his back, part of the bone from his spine removed so they can access the nerves within the spinal canal. They electronically test the nerves to identify which nerves are responsible for sending too many messages to his brain (this is what causes his muscles to contract and remain tight).
SDR is the ONLY treatment available for removing the spasticity PERMANENTLY. We need to fundraise approximately £35,000. £25,000 for the surgery and 3 weeks in patient stay at Frenchay Hospital.
The remaining amount would be needed to fund physiotherapy, it's recommended that Joseph have up to an hour of physio a day, 5 days a week for at least 6 months, but intensive physio will be needed for up to 2 years to build strength in his legs (there will be muscles in his legs that he has never used).
We will also need to buy gym equipment(eg treadmill) and fund intensive residential physio therapy courses. SDR will only give Joseph the ability to independently walk if we give him the level of physiotherapy that is required.
Because of Joseph's current level of mobility, and his determination to be independent, the surgeon believes that Joseph will be an independent walker within 2 years of having SDR.
If Joseph doesn't have SDR, as he reaches his teens he will need a wheelchair permanently, he will need to have multiple orthopaedic operations until he is fully grown, to correct any damaged caused to his body by the spasticity. It's also likely that he will develop spinal deformities that will require corrective surgery.
If Joseph does receive SDR, it will significantly reduce and possibly remove the need for ANY orthopaedic surgery, and will make everyday tasks easier for him to carry out independently. He may even be able to walk unaided!
Joseph does find some everyday tasks difficult to do on his own, he isn't able to dress himself, or visit the toilet without help. Joseph gets very upset when he isn't able to physically keep up with his friends and gets really frustrated when he isn't able to play football with his Daddy and his friends as he can't kick a ball.
Despite the pain and discomfort the spasticity causes, Joseph has a very positive can do attitude. That coupled with his fierce independence means that once his legs start to 'listen to him' he will be unstoppable!
We hope you can donate to help Joseph achieve his dream.
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Please be assured that even though this page shows the charity as the tree of hope, all money raised on this page will go towards the Joseph's Dream charity. Please see www.josephsdream.co.uk for further details.
Sarah, Jay and the team are to climb three peaks to raise money.
So Joseph's dream of walking unaided will make every day become sunny.
So please dig deep and donate now.