YOU all helped to make Callum’s Dream come true, writes DOMINIC SHAW.
And now the Mail’s show of support for brave Hartlepool youngster Callum Smith has been nominated as one of 30 of the strongest editorial newspaper campaigns across the UK.
The Making a Difference campaign, highlighting the power of local newspapers, is running throughout Local Newspaper Week next week.
And, just as the Mail readers demonstrated their immense generosity for Callum helping to smash the fundraising target for a much-needed sensory room for the poorly youngster, it’s now down to you once again to show your support for the campaign when an online vote opens on Monday.
BRAVE Callum Smith sits in his sensory room, surrounded by the state-of-the-art specialist equipment which helps to stimulate his brain – all made possible thanks to your generosity.
After two-and-half years of defying the odds, the majority of which was spent in hospital, his doting parents Zoe Neesam, 21, and Luke Smith, 23, are so grateful of the opportunity to spend time at home with their courageous little boy.
But not a week goes by when they don’t receive a phonecall with the boost of yet another donation or they are stopped by strangers in the street asking how Callum is.
The Callum’s Dream campaign has touched the hearts of the loving people of Hartlepool.
“It’s so nice because Callum is loved by me and Luke more than anything in the world,” said Zoe, 21.
“But there is just so much love for him from so many people, people who we have never met before, who don’t even know him.
“That’s all thanks to the Callum’s Dream campaign.”
Just one year ago Zoe and Luke were given the heart wrenching news that their adorable son had just days to live.
But Callum fought on. It’s what he’s done throughout his short life: beat the odds.
The youngster must take 15 different types of medication three times a day for conditions including epilepsy, reflux problems, dystonia, hypertonia and problems with swallowing, and is fed through a tube in his stomach.
In partnership with Epilepsy Outlook, the Hartlepool Mail launched the Callum’s Dream campaign to raise £5,000 to fund the specialist sensory room.
That target was reached in a matter of weeks and the campaign continues to get strong support more than 10 months after it was launched with the total eclipsing £14,000.
All of that money helps to fund more specialist equipment for Callum, constant trips to and from hospital and Zoe and Luke are now even dreaming of taking their son to Disneyland in the future.
“You wouldn’t believe how much of a difference the campaign has made to Callum’s life and to our lives,” beamed Zoe.
“Instead of having to worry about how we are going to afford the travel and the equipment which has been so beneficial we have just been able to relax and focus all of our efforts on giving Callum all of our love, making sure we get absolutely everything out of every day we spend with him.
“He’s come on so much in the last year, taking little inch steps forward at a time but they all add up.”