Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Couple's Race against Time to Raise Funds for Their Son's US Treatment; FAMILY IS DETERMINED TO SEND SEAN, 10, TO AMERICA

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Couple's Race against Time to Raise Funds for Their Son's US Treatment; FAMILY IS DETERMINED TO SEND SEAN, 10, TO AMERICA

Article excerpt

Byline: KATIE DICKINSON Reporter katie.dickinson@reachplc.com @KATIEJDICKINSON

BEAMING with pride as her son Sean walks her down the aisle, it's a moment Sonia Gallagher will cherish forever.

Now the family is facing a race against time to pay for treatment they hope will give them more special memories with their beloved boy.

Starved of oxygen at birth, Sean has severe cerebral palsy and is not expected to survive into his teens.

After six years of putting wedding planning to the back of their minds, Sonia and partner Sean snr tied the knot in 2015 after winning the Chronicle's Dream Wedding competition.

The pair, from Lemington, Newcastle, applied so they could get married as soon as possible and make sure their eldest son was part of the occasion.

Despite his severe difficulties, including seizures, scoliosis and being registered blind, 10-year-old Sean is a happy little boy who lights up all his family's lives.

When it finally came to getting married, Sonia was determined to make sure he was the one who walked her down the aisle at Alnwick Castle.

Sonia said: "It was very emotional. My dad passed away 18 years ago so I couldn't have had anybody better than my special son to stand in."

Three years on and, with Sean's condition deteriorating rapidly, the family is fundraising for stem cell treatment to give him the best quality of life in whatever time he has left.

"Sean has spent months in hospital over the years, he has been under anaesthetic 18 times and is currently waiting for spinal sur-gery, which is a very risky operation," said Sonia, 32.

"We have been researching stem cell treatment for many years and know that in the future this will probably be out in the UK to treat people with cerebral palsy, but not in Sean's lifetime."

We want to the chance this treatment reach his his short it's too Sonia " Sean and Sonia have applied for an expanded access program at the Duke University in the USA to use stem cells they stored three years ago from their daughter Kaitlyn's placent as they know these are a 1-4 perfect match to Sean's. …

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