Donations flood in to help Ayley and Chloe walk

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A CARNOUSTIE family are hoping their dream of seeing their two little girls take their first footsteps could become a reality by the end of the year.

Two-year-old twins Ayley and Chloe Hirsch both suffer from cerebral palsy, a condition that restricts their mobility and leaves them unable to walk.

However, they have been given the chance of undergoing life changing surgery in the United States which will then enable them to take their first steps.

A month ago, their parents Averil Fleming and Frazer Hirsch launched a fund-raising campaign to try and gather the £80,000 needed to pay for the operations.

And already they have received a more than £10,000 and have a busy schedule of fund-raising events over the coming months.

Averil and Frazer are due to marry in October and Averil told the Guide & Gazette there would be no better wedding present than hopefully having all the money raised to pay for the surgery by then.

She said: “The fund-raising is going really well and already we have £10,000 thanks to the support of people in Carnoustie and all over Angus.

“Frazer and myself are getting married in October and instead of wedding gifts, we just want people to donate and we are hoping by then we will have enough money for the girls’ surgery.

“Hopefully we can go back to America by December and providing there are dates available, fingers crossed they could have the surgery by the end of the year.”

The family, which includes the twins’ older sister, six-year-old Lilly, and Frazer’s sister Maxi, have fund-raising events planned from now until September and have three charities nights planned this weekend alone!

Tonight (Friday) a fund-raiser is being held in their honour at Dundee United FC while a ladies’ night is planned for Kirriemuir and an Easter disco at the Carnoustie Panbride Church hall.

The twins’ grandad former Dundee footballer Ian Fleming has organised a sportsman’s dinner to be held at the Station Hotel in Carnoustie on April 23, where guest of honour will be Forfar Athletic manager Dick Campbell, who is currently battling kidney cancer.

And Averil added that the whole family is overwhelmed by the generosity of people who just want to see the girls be given a chance at walking.

She explained: “We have got so much going on and we have even had people just come up to us in the street and give us cash and post cheques through our door.

“One little boy came to us with money bags with pennies he had collected from his piggy bank which is just overwhelming.

“We are lucky to have a fund-raising committee made up of family and friends because so much planning has to go into these events and caring for the girls is also a full time job.”

At just two-years old, Chloe and Ayley are too young to appreciate the effort that is going into to making sure they can have the life changing operations.

But Averil is determined that once they are older they will be able to look back and see just how generous people were to them.

She added: “When you ask them, all they know is they are going to go to America to have their legs fixed and they are probably too young to realise everything else going on.

“But we are keeping every single newspaper article and anything else that comes our way in a scrap book and memory box so they can look back on everything that has happened.”

Anybody wanting to donate to the Help Ayley and Chloe Walk fund can visit their special page on Facebook.