Music and comedy to help Rhys reach his goal

A COMEDY and music event has been organised for next month in a bid to help Montrose couple Gary and Penny Allan provide physiotherapy equipment for their son.

Following a recent trip to Germany for four-year-old Rhys to undergo an intensive five-day physiotherapy course, they decided to convert their garage into a treatment room and aim to raise around £7,000 to pay for the conversion and to equip it.

The event, which will be held at the Black Abbot in Coronation Way on Saturday, July 23, will feature several bands and four stand-up comedians who will perform throughout the afternoon to help the family meet their funding target.

Although Gary had the idea for the entertainment earlier this year, it was only after their trip to Germany this month that they decided to use the funds raised to provide their own treatment area.

Rhys, who has cerebral palsy, received stem cell treatment at Xcell-Centre in Dusseldorf last October. The procedure involved isolating cells from bone marrow taken from his hip and injecting them via a lumbar puncture and at the time Gary and Penny were told that, with continuing physiotherapy, it could take up to six months for them to see improvement.

They have been encouraged by his steady progress since then but their return trip to Dusseldorf, where Rhys underwent five physio sessions every day, gave them an insight into the type of physiotherapy which would be most beneficial for him.

Gary said: “We learned a lot from the physios there about different techniques and methods we could use with Rhys and we realised that he needs somewhere to go where he has to do his work. At the moment we do physio with him in the house and there are too many distractions.

“Rhys progressed really well in Germany and by day five we saw a good few changes in him. If we can keep that going and keep working with him, hopefully he’ll progress further and there’s stuff we can do ourselves without bringing in physios, although he’ll still need private treatment.

“At the centre they had proper gym equipment, power plates and trampolines and they also had him balancing on water beds. We estimate that it would cost around £3,500 for the equipment and probably the same to convert the garage. We also want to provide a sensory corner where he can relax after his exercises.

“This event was going ahead anyway but we decided that’s what we wanted to put the money towards.”

The event, which will run from 2pm, is aimed at families and will include a barbecue as well as face painting, a bouncy castle and a magician for youngsters. There will also be a raffle and lucky programmes, with four draws during the day for £25 bar tabs. Tickets, costing £10 which includes a free drink, are available now from Hogg’s on the High Street, the Black Abbot and from Gary by calling 07849 885280.