A YOUNG boy who has a rare condition has launched a toy appeal to bring Christmas to the hospital that treated him.
Nine-year-old Kenzie Appleton, from St Helens, was diagnosed with Perthes disease, a rare condition that affects the femur in his leg making it soft and breakable, when he was four years old.
He has spent much of his life in and out of Alder Hey Children’s Hospital but, for the second year in a row, has decided to give something back by collecting toys to donate to the other patients.
He and his family are collecting as many toys as possible to help bring some Christmas cheer to the children who have to spend the festive season at the hospital.
In a statement on a Facebook page dedicated to the appeal, Kenzie’s mum Tara Hewitt wrote: “The smallest of gifts could make the biggest difference to a child having to spend their Christmas in hospital.
“We really need your help as we really couldn’t achieve any of this without people like yourselves. please donate what you can for a brilliant cause, together we can make a difference.”
In early 2012, Kenzie underwent an operation to reshape the bone in his leg, leaving him bedridden in a hip cast for three months.
He had another operation last year that meant he had to spend much of the Christmas period in Alder Hey and that’s when he decided to start a toy appeal.
Tara said: “The worst thing for Kenzie was that he was told he couldn’t take part in any high impact sports like football. He had been a little livewire so this was really difficult.
“What broke my heart was when he was watching the Paralympics and saw the disabled runners using false limbs. He asked me if his leg could be cut off so he could have a false one and be able to run around again.”
He has since undergone months of intense physiotherapy and hydrotherapy as well as a second operation. However, despite still having muscle damage and weakness in the affected leg, Kenzie is determined and positive.
In May 2015, Kenzie conquered Oli’s Safari Walk without using his wheelchair - an incredible achievement!
To find out more about the appeal and where toys can be dropped off, visit the Kenzies Toy Story Appeal Facebook page.