Chelsea FC offers teenage Maddi with motor neurone the chance to win the bucket collection at the West Ham game for research into the disease

PUBLISHED: 08:06 21 October 2019

Maddi Thurgood after her operation in St Louis

Maddi Thurgood after her operation in St Louis

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Chelsea Football Club has offered the Save Our Maddi campaign the chance to benefit from the bucket collection at the match with West Ham.

The game will be at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, November 30.

Maddi Thurgood after her operation in St LouisMaddi Thurgood after her operation in St Louis

Chelsea Football Club has offered the Save Our Maddi campaign the chance to benefit from the bucket collection at the match with West Ham.

The game will be at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, November 30.

People wanting to help teenager Maddi Thurgood, who has a rare form of motor neurone disease, have until Monday, November 18 to vote on line for the Maddi Foundation.

Maddi, 18, a former pupil at Helena Romanes School in Dunmow and Saffron Walden County High School, is currently in America, having physiotherapy after surgery on her spine to halt the degeneration that the disease causes.

Maddi is in St Louis after a procedure called selective dorsal rhizotomy to help her walk again. Her family say that she is making good progress.

A post on the Save Our Maddi Appeal website says: "Thank you to Chelsea FC who have selected us to have the chance to fundraise at one of their home games. Please vote for us to win a match day bucket collection at the Chelsea v West Ham game.

"This is a great opportunity for a small charity like us to raise more money for a cure to help Maddi and others with this degenerative disease."

Maddi's family has commissioned scientists at Sheffield University to create a specially tailored gene-therapy for a potential treatment. The work has been going on for two years. A breakthrough could help other patients around the world. This is a long process and would involve clinical trials.

Maddi was diagnosed three years ago, just after her 15th birthday. The schoolgirl, from Toppesfield, near Finchingfield, once a keen ice-skater, could barely walk when she went to America for the surgery this month.

She is enrolled on a photography course at Cambridge Regional College but was unable to attend full time because of her illness.

Her mother, Carina, has spent every waking hour since the diagnosis, researching and contacting medics across the globe to try to find something to help her daughter.

The day before the family left for America, Carina gave a presentation at a Rare Disease Symposium at the Wellcome Trust in Cambridge and the day before that she met French scientists in Nice to learn from them.

The next fundraiser is The Autumn Ball at Down Hall Hotel and Spa in Hatfield Heath on Saturday, November 9. It will have Allo Allo and I'm a Celebrity star Vicki Michelle hosting as well as a raffle, live music and auctions. Last year's event (also with Vicki Michelle at the same venue) raised £27,000.

Tickets are £89 per person, including sparkling drinks and a three-course meal. The auction prizes include holidays and a meal to be cooked at your home by a winner of Masterchef.

Tickets from Alexandra@themaddifoundation.com.

To vote for Maddi's research to benefit from the bucket collection at Chelsea, go to: www.chelseafc.com/en/news/2019/10/10/matchdaycollections-continue-?cardindex.

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