Char­lotte is ready for the next big step

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FRONT PAGE - by Mike Ben­nett

Priceless gifts for brave young­ster

IT’S go­ing to be a happy Easter for Ash­ford’s bravest girl Char­lotte Whale.

Pub land­lords Tom and Rob Dixon from The Al­bion, South Willes­bor­ough, have pledged the re­main­ing cash for the long-awaited op­er­a­tion which it is hoped will al­low the 11year-old from Great Chart to walk for the first time.

Since we told Char­lotte’s story last March, read­ers have been rais­ing money to­wards the £15,000 needed for pi­o­neer­ing private stem­cell treat­ment in the Do­mini­can Repub­lic.

With cus­tomers’ sup­port The Al­bion has raised about £6,000. Tom Dixon col­lected an­other £700 dur­ing a spon­sored cy­cle-ride to other pubs across the bor­ough and now that, to­gether with do­na­tions from Ken­tish Ex­press read­ers in­spired by her courage, means her mother Lori has been told to go ahead and book the op­er­a­tion.

Mrs Whale has re­ceived enough to cover the sur­geon’s fees and now needs an­other £1,700 for flights and ac­com­mo­da­tion, which Mr Dixon has promised to pro­vide.

That will be com­pleted by a mu­sic night with pop­u­lar band Fallen An­gels play­ing free on April 13 in his pub func­tion room.

Mrs Whale said: “This is a long-awaited dream come true for Char­lotte. The end is in sight and ev­ery­one has been so gen­er­ous and we can­not thank Tom Dixon and ev­ery­one else enough for mak­ing it pos­si­ble.”

Now at Char­lotte’s home in Bean Close, Great Chart, ex­cite­ment is mount­ing and she has no fears about the treat­ment.

She said: “I want to walk and play with my friends with­out al­ways hav­ing my mother or a carer with me. It is a dream that I can come back nor­mal.”

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Land­lord of the Al­bion Inn Tom Dixon raised money for the ap­peal by cy­cling to other pubs in the bor­ough

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Char­lotte Whale with her mum Lori

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