A 13-year-old boy who cannot walk is desperate to raise £20,000 for life-changing stem cell treatment in Panama.
St Thomas More pupil, Marcus McCarthy, from Southchurch, was diagnosed with cerebral palsy – a neurological condition that impacts his limbs.
He has already undergone more than ten operations.
The family aims to ask 20,000 people to donate just £1 each.
Marcus’ mum, Scarlett, 34, said: “Recently, I was researching other people with the condition who have had stem cell treatment – which is kind of like science magic.
“I came across this clinic in Panama. Marcus and I talked about it, he’s 13, he knows what he’s going through. He said ‘let’s try Mum’.
“I contacted the clinic and they assessed Marcus based on the information I gave and they said they would be happy to accept him for treatment.
“But it’s not funded, it’s a private clinic in Panama.
“When it comes to your own child’s health, money can’t be an object.”
The Stem Cell Institute in Panama provides therapies using specially screened and processed mesenchymal stem cells sourced from umbilical cord tissue.
Scarlett, added: “He is a very strong willed boy, he enjoys his physiotherapy and likes swimming and boxing – he’s a very psychical boy.
“He just started his GCSEs and his top choice was GCSE P.E. – his P.E. said ‘yeah go for it!’
“That just shows his sense