Boy who cannot eat inspires fundraising drive for Sunderland school

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A BRAVE youngster battling a rare condition has inspired a fund-raising drive to boost facilities ay a Wearside school.

Corageous Callum Kelly, of Oxclose, has been diagnosed with a form of autism that means he cannot tolerate solids or liquids in the normal way.

While his pals tuck into treats such as chips, chocolate and ice cream, Callum, four, has to be fed a nutrient-packed liquid through a tube into his stomach.

Moved by his bravery, his family and friends launched a charity campaign last year in aid of Sunningdale School, Springwell, where he is a pupil.

Dad John, 31, said he has been overwhelmed by support for the drive, which recently saw a team of cyclists take to the road for a 150-mile sponsored ride from Cumbria to Wearside, and has now raised thousands of pounds.

“It’s been a massive success,” he said. “The bike ride has raised about £2,600 so far, but we’ve got money coming in all the time and we’re hoping that will rise to about £3,000.

“Along with the other events that have been held, we think the overall total will be in the region of £5,000.”

John, who works in sales, said his son had coped well with a series of operations and was responding well to treatment.

He also paid tribute to friends, colleagues and businesses for their support for the campaign.

“The ride went really well,” said John. “Local group Springboard provided the minibus and bike trailer.

Funds for overnight accommodation for two nights for the eight riders and four-strong support team came from Washington Colliery FC.

“It has all been worth it.

“The money can be used in any way that the school wants it to be used.

“It can pay for trips, sensory equipment or go towards its hydrotherapy pool.

“It’s all for a great cause.”

For more information about the on-going appeal, email jk21281@live.co.uk.

Twitter: @SunderlandEcho