An appeal which aims to change the lives of Lancaster twins Katie and Emma Sutcliffe has raised £15,000, thanks to the generosity of local people.
The Twins Appeal will help the 15-year-old Lancaster sisters, who need a life-changing operation in America to help them walk.
The teenagers have spastic diplegic cerebral palsy, but pioneering surgery could help them to walk unaided, for the first time.
The girls, who attend Our Lady’s Catholic College, need £85,000 to cover the cost of the treatment and follow-up care.
Several fund-raising events have already been held, including a sponsored Round of the Four Passes walk in the Lake District on Sunday.
The 18-mile trek was undertaken by around 30 people, including the twins’ dad Wayne.
It was organised by family friend John Bouskill, a prison officer at Lancaster Farms, and the group included many prison officers.
John had asked that each person raised a minimum of £100, and with many people raising far more than that, it is hoped the event will raise around £4,000.
“More than half of these people didn’t even know us, which made it even more exceptional that they would do it for us,” the twins’ mum Caroline said.
“We went to meet all the walkers at the end of the walk, and the walkers commented to John that it made it all worthwhile to walk around the corner at the end and see the girls waiting to greet them.
“I want to say a big thank you to John for taking the time and effort to organise this fantastic event, and also to Deborah Bouskill for her help and support with this event and constantly with our appeal.
“Also a massive thank you to all those people who took part, most of whom don’t even know us, but took the time and effort to do this for our appeal.”
Around £700 was also raised at a unique boxing event in Morecambe at the weekend.
Boxing was held at the Winter Gardens on Saturday night for the first time since 1964.
A crowd of around 350 fight fans enjoyed an evening of action organised by Coastal Boxing Promotions, owned by local fight promoter and trainer Frank Harrington.
Bucket collections on the night added to money raised from a raffle and auction of sporting memorabilia.
Katie and Emma both attended the show, along with their 11-year-old brother Ciaran and Caroline and Wayne. Caroline said: “It was a great event. I’d like to thank those people who donated for their kindness and generosity, and Frank and Coastal Boxing Promotions for supporting the Twins Appeal.”
Other money has come in from generous Guardian readers, including £200 from an elderly woman and a further donation from a 92-year-old man.
“The support has been fantastic,” Caroline said.
Meanwhile, the Sutcliffes have organised a Family Fun Day in aid of the appeal.
Due to be held at the Vale of Lune Rugby Club on Sunday, September 16 from 2pm, the event will have activities such as a climbing wall, archery, dunking chair, bouncy castle, karaoke and stalls.
Entertainment on the day will come from local girl group Dalton and Steven Hall from Britain’s Got Talent.
There will also be an event on Sunday, September 23 at the Commodore Club in Heysham featuring Eddie and the Sunbeams 50s and 60s rock ‘n’ roll band.
Doors open at noon and the day includes karaoke, raffles and a barbeque, as well as evening entertainment.