Players on form for Rhys and Riley

MONTROSE FC’s playing squad has rallied round to support two local youngsters with a £600 donation to help with their continuing care.

The club took part in the Movember fund-raising campaign which challenges men to grow a moustache to help raise awareness and money for The Prostate Cancer Charity.

Of the money raised, £300 was donated to the charity, while £300 was presented each to Rhys Allan and Riley Murray who were the club’s guests at the Scottish Cup fourth round match against Dunfermline on Saturday.

The donation to Rhys (3), who has cerebral palsy, will help his parents Penny and Gary to meet costs of his continuing care which includes physiotherapy and regular trips to the specialist Craighalbert Centre in Cumbernauld

The couple recently took Rhys to the Xcell Centre in Dusseldorf after raising £20,000 for stem cell treatment. It involved isolating stem cells from bone marrow taken from Rhys’s hip and injecting them via a lumbar puncture. While the treatment is freely available in Europe, it has not yet been given the go-ahead in the UK.

Riley (5) was born prematurely after he and his twin, Brodie, were diagnosed with twin to twin transfusion at 20 weeks. Riley and Brodie were born 11 weeks premature and were given only a 30 per cent chance of survival.

At 11 weeks old, Brodie underwent a hernia operation but never recovered from the anaesthetic, while the prognosis for Riley was not good and his parents Trudy and Dale were told there was a possibility he could not be able to see, feed, hear, walk or talk.

He has since amazed everyone with his progress and is currently enjoying school, although he is in need of a new wheelchair which will cost £18,000.

Penny said: “The money will help with the ongoing care of Rhys and we are also hoping to take him back to Germany.

“The costs of continuing care are expensive so we’re very grateful to Montrose for everything they have done and we can’t thank them enough.”

While the Xcell Centre, one of the newest stem cell treatment centres in Europe, does not guarantee the therapy’s success, it does state that the process has already helped many people.