Bucking the trend, this post isn’t about PR or work or my kids. It’s about raising money for my one-year-old cousin who’s facing a race against the clock to be able to speak and hear. His name is Oliver Bosch and he needs your help.
Oliver was diagnosed at 8 weeks old as being profoundly deaf. He’s since faced a battering of tests and, after a failed trial of hearing aids and an MRI of his head, he was found to have no auditory nerves at all. This means hearing aids or cochlear implants will do nothing for him. Without the ability to hear a single thing, he will be unable to speak. He is the only child in Scotland with this condition.
To make matters worse, Oliver was also found at this stage to have fused vertebrae in his spine causing scoliosis, missing ribs and no balance nerves. His face is not symmetrical and he has now been confirmed as suffering from Goldenhar Syndrome.
Oliver’s only hope now for his hearing (and therefore speech) is a revolutionary new treatment called an Auditory Brain Stem Implant (ABI). The founder of this procedure is based in Italy and has achieved a 96% success rate in the 89 children he has implanted so far. However, the operation will cost Oliver’s parents £60,000. They are appealing for help in raising this money – they’ve planned a number of fundraising activities in their hometown of Dundee, everything from Tesco bag-packing sessions, to shaking buckets at the local football matches. But they’re still a long way off their target so I want to share their story here in the hope of drumming up further donations to help Oliver hear.
With the other symptoms stemming from his Goldenhar Syndrome, this lad faces a difficult enough future – but nobody can deny that having the ability to communicate with his parents and older sister can only make life easier for Oliver and his family.
Myself and my family will be doing all we can to help Oliver’s parents reach their £60,000 target. If you can donate, even just a small amount, it will go directly towards the cost of Oliver’s operation and I will keep you all updated through my blog about the developments in his life.
If you have any fundraising ideas you’d like to share with Oliver’s parents, please feel free to post them in the comments below or contact them via their Facebook page, where you can also keep up-to-date with the appeal.