Final fund-raiser for Riley

MONTROSE couple Trudy and Dale Murray have said a heart-felt “thank you” to everyone who helped raise more than £80,000 to help their son walk for the first time.

As they prepare to close the Riley’s First Steps appeal, the couple this week said the efforts of family, friends and the wider Montrose community have given Riley, who has cerebral palsy, a chance they never thought he would have.

The money has been raised since the appeal’s official launched in April and paid for Riley, his parents and sister Layla to travel to St Louis in the United States in August for him to undergo life-changing surgery. It has also funded Riley’s physiotherapy and the purchase of specialised equipment.

Trudy said: “We’ve been left speechless by people’s generosity over the last few months and their willingness to help. We’re confident that we have enough for his therapy and for his follow-up trip to St Louis.

“There are so many other charities and other local children with disabilities who also need support we felt it was the time to stop.”

Riley’s progress has surprised everyone since he returned home in October and he is now working towards walking with specially designed sticks instead of a walker and his confidence has also improved enormously.

Trudy said: “He’s getting so confident in his walking that he’s trying to run and jump. He has also asked for a scooter for Christmas so is obviously confident in himself and everyone’s commenting that he has a whole new personality.

“We’ll be forever grateful to everyone who supported us and contributed in any way to the phenomenal fund-raising efforts. It’s only just the beginning for Riley, but the surgery has already changed his life significantly.

“Thank you for helping to give Riley the opportunity of a happier, easier life and for making his dream come true.”

The final fund-raiser will be a calendar, “Montrose Unzipped”, which will be launched officially at Sharky’s this Saturday, December 3, at 7.30pm. Costing £5, it will be available from Next to You, Bodywork in Murray Street, The Barber Shop, George Street Barber, 4Kidz and RK Tool Hire.