Dream comes closer

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A COMMUNITY came together at the weekend to raise nearly £800 to help an inspirational boy move closer to fulfilling his dreams.

Kind-hearted folk turned out at a fund-raising event in Amble for eight-year-old Brandon Ballance, who has battled a brain tumour for most of his life.

The courageous lad, from the town’s Links Avenue, was diagnosed with an inoperable cancerous growth when he was just two and has since had to endure gruelling courses of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and lengthy periods of time in hospital.

Now, a mission is under way to raise £15,000 to take him on a dream holiday to America and help him achieve his long-held wish of swimming with dolphins.

And on Saturday, the campaign continued to gain momentum as around 200 people attended a balloon race at the town’s Lord Mayor’s Fields. The fun-filled event also featured a range of other activities including a bouncy castle.

Brandon’s delighted mum, Sarah Nicholson, said: “It was absolutely fantastic. We raised £770 including a £60 donation from the RNLI and there were 93 children there with balloons.”

The successful event has taken the total money raised to just over £9,760 and Brandon’s hopes of realising his dreams are growing.

The youngster has also set his heart on staying at Disney’s Animal Kingdom Lodge – a resort amid a 43-acre wildlife preserve – located in the Disney’s Animal Kingdom theme park area, in Florida.

Sarah, 33, added: “We got some brochures for Brandon to look at and the Animal Kingdom Lodge caught his eye. He loves animals and he was just overwhelmed with it.”

The fund-raising mission continues this weekend.

Morpeth Sunday League football club River Coquet FC hosts a race night tomorrow at the town’s Schooner Inn from 7pm, which will feature a raffle as well as a sponsored head-shave and leg-wax. All are welcome.

On Saturday, everyone is welcome to join a sponsored walk from Alnwick to Amble which starts at 11am at Morrisons’ car park.

Other events have been planned, including a charity night at the Bede Street social club, Amble, in May, while a charitable account – Brandon’s Wish Fund – is up and running for anyone who would like to make a donation.

It has been set up with Lloyds TSB and the account number is 15355568 and the sort code is 772004. For more information about the fund-raising events or to donate to the cause, contact Sarah on 07725 147188.