Last push for Luca’s life-changing trip

Tracy Staniforth with her son Luca for whom she is appealing for a final fundraising push to get them over the �25,000 target to pay for Luca's stem cell treatment.
Tracy Staniforth with her son Luca for whom she is appealing for a final fundraising push to get them over the �25,000 target to pay for Luca's stem cell treatment.

The family of poorly five year-old boy are close to reaching a fundraising target of £25,000 to pay for vital stem cell treatment to improve his quality of life.

Luca Grippo, of Calow, was born with meningitis and had to have a gastrostomy tube fitted to help him take in nutrition. He was also diagnosed with cerebral palsy quadriplegia.

Luca has difficulties moving his limbs and cannot speak and communicates by eye-pointing and shaking his head.

His mum, Tracy Staniforth, has booked the life-changing treatment, which is not available though the NHS, at a clinic in Thailand at the end of July.

Now friends of the family have worked together to organise a summer ball and hope to raise another £4-4,500 to reach the £25,000 target.

Tracy said: “It has been hard arranging everything but local people have been amazing coming forward to volunteer.

“People have been so generous and not just by turning up to events.”

One kind-hearted fundraiser is Scott Timbrell, a Chesterfield man who completed the Chesterfield Marathon in less than six hours while pushing Luca in his wheelchair.

Tracy added: “We met Scott at one of the fun days and he just fell in love with Luca.

“But Luca has such a fantastically engaging smile, which is perhaps what makes people want to be a part of the fundraising.

“He smiles the majority of the time and loves a laugh and a joke - especially when I am doing something wrong.”

Luca will endure six days of intensive treatment from 9am to 7pm.

But Tracy hopes it will make a big difference.

She said: “It will be gruelling for him but hopefully the end will justify the means. I’m just trying not to hope too much.”

Spire Radio Summer Ball in Aid of Luca Grippo will beheld at the Proact Stadium on July 22 at 6.30pm and will include a three-course meal, disco entertainment and a comedian. Tickets cost £40.

A fun day event will also be held at Chesterfield’s Highfield pub, on June 19, with a barbecue, raffle, bouncy castle and more.

Tickets for the Spire Radio Summer Ball are available by emailing events@spire-radio.com.

To make a donation on Luca’s Just Giving page visit crowdfunding.justgiving.com/Luca-Allan-Grippo.