It looks like being an extra special Christmas for disabled Lancaster twins Katie and Emma Sutcliffe.
Katie and Emma suffer from spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, and are hoping to raise £85,000 to pay for life-changing surgery in America which could see them walk unaided for the first time.
Backed by the Guardian, the 15-year-olds and their family have so far raised more than £65,000 towards their goal, thanks to the wonderful support of Guardian readers and other generous fundraisers across the district.
The twins’ mum Caroline this week emphasised her thanks to everyone who has supported the appeal over the last few months.
“I just want to express my thanks to everyone who has helped us get this far,” she said.
“This Christmas will be the best Christmas for our family.
“We have received so much love and support from people, and we are now so close to achieving our target, and we are so grateful.
“2013 is going to be a fabulous year for us and we want to wish everyone a very Merry Christmas and a fab new year!”
Meanwhile, Guardian reader Sophie Black has offered to donate 50 per cent of earnings from her new business from anyone who mentions this article when they place an order during January.
Sophie, from Glasson Dock, has just set up in business as an Independent Phoenix Trader, selling greetings cards and stationary.
“This appeal is very close to my heart, as I also gave birth to twins at 27 weeks, and I would love to do a little to help this family,” Sophie, 28, said.
Sophie’s twins, Matthew and Thomas, are now four years old and doing well, despite suffering from a lung disease.
They remained in hospital in Manchester for a month before being transferred to the Royal Lancaster Infirmary for a further seven weeks.
“We were told there were big risks with them being born so early,” Sophie said.
“It was spelt out to my husband Peter while I was in labour that it was very probable the twins could have cerebral palsy.
“Reading about Katie and Emma has really made us count our blessings.
“Their mum and dad must be so proud of them – they are inspiring girls.”
Sophie’s business can be found online at http://www.phoenix-trading.eu/web/sophieblack.