A desperate mum and dad who had to resort to a crowdfunding campaign to help their severely disabled son are halfway to realising their dream target.
The Cruse family from Denny is on a DIY SOS mission to build an extension to their home for a downstairs bedroom to cater for the needs of youngest son Cole (4) who suffers from brain abnormalities.
Leann and Andrew, who have five children, started The Helping Little Cole Fund in a bid to raise the £45,000 required to turn their home into a sanctuary that will improve Cole’s quality of life.
Andrew still works as a crane engineer but Leann had to give up her job in recruitment to care for Cole, meaning money is tight and raising the cash themselves for the extension became an impossible dream.
After a fruitless, desperate search for solutions they came across the idea of crowdfunding, which has grown in popularity as a means to help individuals or groups achieve their goals.
Cole has global development delay, epilepsy, asthma and a hip deformity and the family want everything he needs on one level on the ground floor instead of his current situation where he has to be carried upstairs for bed, care and the toilet.
He is unable to walk, requires a wheelchair, struggles to talk and is hospitalised regularly with life-threatening seizures.
Big brother Lewis (15) also has autism and dyspraxia which affects his balance and co-ordination and due to the physical effects of the boys’ conditions the family needs the extra space.
Since forming the crowdfunding campaign on gofundme.com with a target of £40,000 in February this year, over £20,000 has now been raised through a mixture of generous donations and community spirit with people organising fundraising events.
The last event was an abseil this month from the Falkirk Wheel where around 100 people took part, raising around £7500 on the day to add to the ever-growing tally.
Leann said: “The abseil went really smoothly on the day and I can’t thank the people who took part enough for what they did.
“To raise such a massive amount was some achievement, I can’t believe it really. The team from the Tolbooth Tavern in Grangemouth raised around £2300 on their own I think and they were all brilliant, just amazing.
“Cole wasn’t well in the run-up to the day but he managed to make an appearance for a little while and everyone fussed over him.
“It was quite emotional because I am genuinely amazed at the generosity of people. People I had never met before, strangers, were giving up their time to help out a family in need. It’s just amazing.”
She added: “We looked at every option we could to make this happen for Cole, but crowdfunding was the only one left for us so we decided to try it and it has been wonderful so far but we still have a way to go yet.
“Just having a bedroom and toilet downstairs for Cole would make a world of difference to our lives and we can’t thank everyone enough for everything they have done for our family so far.”
So far architect Billy Smith from iLine Designs is donating his services for the design of the extension. Direct Slating is donating the roof material and roofer Derrick Bachen will do the roof work free of charge.
If you are a local business and would like to get involved check out Facebook page The Helping Little Cole Fund, crowdfunding page Little Cole’s Fund on gofundme.com or email Leann at leann firstname.lastname@example.org.
Can you spare £1 for Little Cole?
Thanks to the generosity of hundreds of individuals and groups in the district, the Cruse family if now halfway to achieving their dream of building a new home for Cole.
To help them reach that goal, we are asking readers if they can donate £1.
If every Falkirk Herald reader gave this small, but massive amount, the family would reach their £40,000 target and start building. Donations can be made on the Little Cole’s Fund page on gofundme.com.