Midlands firm Challinors has taken on perhaps its youngest-ever client – six-year-old cerebral palsy sufferer Kian Williams, from Smethwick.
The law firm was brought in by Kian’s family to help set up his ‘First Steps Appeal’, which they hope will raise the £50,000 for a specialist operation in America that could help him walk for the first time in his life.
Challinors partner and commercial law and not-for-profit sector specialist Malford Harris and trainee solicitor Jamie Partington have put in place the legal documentation for the trust and trustees of the First Steps Appeal, which governs the operations of the appeal and how the monies raised by it are used.
Kian lives with his mother Melissa Lowe, stepfather Daniel and ten-month-old sister, Skye.
Malford Harris said: “Melissa called me out of the blue and the moment she explained she needed a set of Trust documents for this appeal for Kian, I didn’t hesitate in saying we would be delighted to help. It’s been a privilege to be involved in getting the Trust up and running and building the foundation blocks for this fantastic appeal, which has already raised more than £10,000 through the support of local people and businesses but which still needs more if Kian is to get the chance to walk.”
Ms Lowe said: “The procedure Kian needs is ‘selective dorsal rhizotomy’. In America, the procedure involves using electrolysis to isolate the nerve that doesn’t work, and then snipping only this one spinal nerve so that Kian can take his first steps. It has a proven track record of success and very minimal long-term damage. The only similar procedure here in the UK available on the NHS involves cutting seven spinal nerves which, it is known, will compromise mobility and the overall success of the operation.
“We heard about the American operation, which featured a little boy who also suffered from cerebral palsy and who had successfully undergone the treatment in the US. If we are successful in raising the £50,000 we need through the First Steps Appeal it means we can get Kian to America for this life-changing operation and see him take his first steps.”
Challinors has experience of working with and for charities and organisations in the not-for-profit sector, including the National Association of Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, the National Governors’ Association and Natural England; Mr Harris has worked in the sector for more than 20 years. The firm is also active with its own fund-raising programme to support local charities, most recently for the Birmingham Focus for the Blind and the Birmingham Women’s Hospital’s Tiny Babies Big Appeal, which Jamie ran for in the recent Birmingham half-marathon.
To make a donation to the appeal or discuss fund-raising ideas contact Melissa Lowe on 07850 156445.