AN astonished mum has praised the public for a year of fundraising to help get her son to America for life-changing surgery.
Katy Million, 31, launched a £30,000 campaign in 2012 for her three-year-old son Alex to have treatment in the USA for two conditions affecting his ear.
She hoped to raise £2,000 in the first year of the huge effort, but a series of stories in the Hartlepool Mail helped boost the total to four times that amount.
It stood at to £8,000 by the end of the year.
Katy, from Greatham, on the outskirts of Hartlepool, said: “The whole thing has gone surprisingly well. When I first started the fund up, I planned to do a few events such as the Great North Run and the Marathon of the North in Sunderland thinking I can raise a bit at a time over the next seven or eight years.
“But so much has happened since then. People have been willing to do so much for Alex and I am amazed.”
Katy, who needs to raise £30,000 by the time Alex is about 10-years-old, has already raised money by events including selling balloons at £1 a go at Greatham Feast and other fairs, and running the Marathon of the North which was held in Sunderland, in May.
Katy said: “Alex is getting used to all the publicity and he now says to people at the fairs ‘come and buy my balloons’.
“Everyone knows about him now and everyone knows what the cause is about.”
Alex was born with two linked conditions. One is called microtia which means his external ear is under-developed. He also has atresia, which means he doesn’t have an external ear canal.
The £30,000 is needed to get Alex to America to see the specialist surgeon John Reinisch, who developed the Medpor method of ear reconstruction specifically for the treatment of microtia.
More events are on the way including a fundraising raffle night being held by a family friend in Cardiff next month.
Katy has set up a website where people can find out more about the condition affecting her son. It is available at www.earforalex.co.uk