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Eliana’s hoping US op will allow her to run

A STAPLEHURST youngster who longs to run has jetted off to America for the operation which could make her wish come true. A fundraising campaign organ-

ised by family, friends and well- wishers, and a chart-topping music video, paid the £85,000 needed to send Eliana Farragher to St Louis, Missouri, for the surgery unavail- able on the NHS. Two-year-old Eliana, from Head-

corn Road, was born prematurely at just 32weeks, and suffered brain damage that caused sight problems and diplegic cerebral palsy. Her condition included stiffness

in her legs, pain and bone deformi- ties which stopped her running, Treatment to improve her quality

of life was not available on the NHS, so her family began fundrais- ing for the spinal cord operation called selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) which could significantly improve her ability to move her legs.

Her mum Catherine, a teaching assistant, said: “Eliana is a real character, She falls and gets up again, in every sense. She canwalk

but she is wobbly on her legs. But it’s not just about walking – it’s about climbing, dancing, jumping and playing. I hope Eliana can run into school on her first day and feel just like all the other children.” Money came rolling in to the Eliana’s Wish To Run appeal started, as villagers organised events including sponsored runs, marathons, cake sales, charity evenings and a music festival. Catherine said: “We are over the moon to have achieved what


ELIANA’S fund received amassive boost from a music video pro- duced by children fromSt Ronan’s School, Hawkhurst, where her sis- ter is a pupil. With the blessing of the band,

they performed Keane’s “Some- where OnlyWe Know”, and issued a DVD priced at £10. It soon reached more than 29,000 views on YouTube and shot to the top of the children’s music video chart.

seemed like an impossible target. Thank you to everyone who’s given time, money and support.” The fund now stands at more

than enough to pay for Eliana’s treatment, including the year-long physiotherapy she will need after- wards.

Catherine and her husband, Ray,

will be giving any further cash raised to help other youngsters wth the same condition. For details of how to give, go to

News Moped rider’s

bike seized A MOPED was seized from a 16- year-old for riding the bike with two passengers. He was stopped while acting in

an antisocial manner in a field off Brishing Lane, near Maidstone. Police issued him with awarning

and explained that if he was stopped again, the vehicle could be seized and impounded by police. However, the following after-

noon the same bikewas seen being ridden with two passengers on board in Bell Meadow, Park Wood.

Festive stalls

A TRADITIONAL Christmas mar- ket is being held in Jubilee Square, Maidstone, daily until December 22.

It will be open from 9am to 6pm

on weekdays, apart from Thurs- days when it stays open until 9pm. On Saturdays, it runs until 7pm and on Sundays until 5pm.

Messy church

A MESSY Christingle with fun, food and fellowship takes place at St Nicholas Church in Linton Hill, Linton, on December 3. More details are available from

Becky at or by calling 07949 646865.

to avoid disappointment CHRISTMAS RUSH

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