Friday, 23 August 2019

Halloween garden for Charlie

A COUPLE are to transform their front garden into a spooky Halloween scene to raise money for a boy fighting cancer.

Teresa and Peter Johnson, of Crowsley Way, Sonning Common, will have a castle frontage with a drawbridge, polystyrene tombstones, animated witches and a full-sized pop-up coffin.

There will also be a cauldron for people to put donations in and a hot chocolate station. The fun will start at 6pm. The couple are fund-raising for Charlie Ilsley, 11, from Emmer Green, who has undergone CyberKnife treatment in Turkey in an attempt to eradicate two tumours on his spine.

The treatment, which is the latest in radiotherapy and delivers a high dose with pinpoint accuracy, is not available to children at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, where he had surgery previously.

Charlie had the treatment in August and since then has returned to Ankara with his parents Toni and Mark every few weeks for chemotherapy treatment.

A £45,000 appeal has been launched for the cost of his treatment and the family’s flight. More than £26,000 has been raised so far.

Mrs Johnson, 47, said her sister Katrina Silver and daughter Carrie-Anne Johnson had worked at Tesco in Henley with Mrs Ilsley and the family wanted to help.

She said: “As parents and grandparents, we can’t even begin to think how it is for this little family. They need all the support that everyone can give them. Toni was absolutely thrilled and so grateful.”

Ru Butler, of Peppard Building Supplies, provided the materials for the castle as well as paint and Mrs Silver and her husband Cliff will build and paint it. Philip Mullin, of Sonning Common Vauxhall, has donated a 32in TV as a raffle prize.

The Johnsons have decorated their front garden at Halloween for more than 10 years but chose to raise money for charity for the first time last year, collecting almost £400 for the Thames Valley Air Ambulance.

Mrs Johnson said: “It’s something we continue to do as if we didn’t you’d have a lot of disappointed kids and it has just got bigger over the years.”

Charlie will have a scan in Turkey on November 5 to see if his tumours have shrunk.

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