Family of ill Sunderland boy Will '˜overwhelmed' by generosity

The family of a toddler battling a life-limiting medical condition have been left 'overwhelmed' by the generosity of Wearsiders who have helped them almost treble their fundraising target.

Monday, 11th April 2016, 5:00 am
William Calvert, who suffers from Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.

Rob and Caroline Calvert’s world was turned upside down when their only son, three-year-old William, was diagnosed with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy in December.

The couple, from Craigshaw Square, Sunderland, set about fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy UK, the charity supporting those living with the muscle-wasting condition.

Caroline Calvert, right, with William and friend and fundraiser Adelle Steinberg.

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They set up group I’m in it for Will with the aim of raising £5,000.

However, in less than three months they have almost trebled their target, raising a huge £13,000, thanks to the generosity of family, friends and strangers.

Money raised in William’s name will be used to fund further research into the condition.

Caroline, 28, added: “The support from the wider community has been beyond belief – it was not what we were expecting at all.

Caroline Calvert, right, with William and friend and fundraiser Adelle Steinberg.

“We have been amazed and so grateful to all the fundraising events people have held for the cause. We are continuing to fundraise to enable more research into the condition to be carried out.

“Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy is a devastating muscle-wasting condition. My happy and healthy son faces an awful future that he is unaware of.

“Today, he plays with dinosaurs and superheroes, he is so happy just like any other child his age.

“His future, however, is very different. Before leaving primary school William will be permanently in a wheelchair and over the following years his muscles will fail, then swallowing, breathing and finally his heart.

“My beautiful son now has a life expectancy of 27 – and this is if we are lucky.

“Through being part of this community, we have seen young boys as young as ten and 12 die due to complications.

“There are no words to explain how we all feel. William is my everything, my only child and my reason to smile.

“Nothing is the same anymore, we have as many fun days as we possibly can, on the outside I am smiling but on the inside I am in pain – my heart is broken.”

The couple will carry on fundraising after being told how important their efforts were at a recent MDUK conference. To make a donation to the cause, visit