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Regional daily launches £20k crowdfunding bid

A regional daily has launched a ‘crowdfunding’ bid to raise £20,000 in aid of a desperately-ill youngster.

The North West Evening Mail has stepped in to help the family of Leon O’Neill, who need to build a special extension in order to care for him at home.

The 10-year-old has twice battled cancer and was on the road to recovery before being left with serious brain damage after contacting glandular fever and reacting badly to medication.

Now he is in a vegetative state with no prospect of improvement, and his family want to bring him back from hospital to their home in Barrow-in-Furness.

The Evening Mail launched the appeal on Monday and raised £1,000 within three hours.

Crowdfunding is a method of fundraising which relies on using the internet and social media to raise cash within a fixed timeframe – in this case 30 days.

The Mail’s deputy Editor, James Higgins, said: “The family need money, and fast, so we felt crowdfunding was the best way to approach this.

“We are in the privileged position of being able to help them achieve their dreams. The appeal raised £1,000 within three hours so we are hopeful of hitting the target within the 30 day timeframe.”

Reporter Natalie Chapples has been in contact with the family throughout Leon’s cancer battles and has backed up the crowdfunding campaign with articles in the paper.

Said Natalie: “As soon as we were on the streets the response was amazing, There were so many people wanting to help. Leon is a lovely little boy and it is so sad what has happened. Hopefully we can make a difference.”

The hashtag #bringleonhome is being used on all social media activity. You can donate here.