The Western Morning News has raised enough money in just three weeks to allow pioneering treatment for a rare form of epilepsy to continue for another year.
The West Country daily launched ‘Sarah’s Appeal’ after learning of the plight of four-year-old Sarah Laslett from Looe in Cornwall who suffers up to 70 epileptic fits a day.
Laslett, along with other children, had benefited from a diet-based treatment pioneered in the US and being trialled in the Great Ormond Street Hospital in London. However, funds had been running out, and treatment was not available on the NHS.
WMN editor Barrie Williams was contacted by a friend who teaches Sarah and ‘Sarah’s Appeal’ was launched immediately to raise the £25,000 needed. In just three weeks WMNreaders had sent in £24,000 and regional managing director of West Country publications Duncan Currall wrote a final cheque for £1,000 to hit the target.
In a letter, Sarah’s father Simon Laslett wrote: “The Western Morning News campaign and your company’s most generous donation to the appeal have given so many suffering children and their families a chance for a better future – a chance which government funding so shamefully has failed to offer.”
Williams added: “Sarah is an incredibly brave little girl who remains as bright as a button despite her condition.
She won our hearts and those of our readers, whose response was incredible.”?