VIDEO: Funds needed to bring baby home

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A Thakeham beautician will wax a man’s legs to raise funds for a one-year-old suffering from an extremely rare disease.

Little Maxwell Smith was diagnosed with Mitochondrial Disease last year, which requires him to be connected to a ventilator 24 hours a day.

JPCT 130513  Amneh Sheikh-Ali - to do funraising leg waxing. Photo by Derek Martin

JPCT 130513 Amneh Sheikh-Ali - to do funraising leg waxing. Photo by Derek Martin

First believed to be a bad case of tonsillitis, a series of treatments confirmed the muscle wasting disease.

In order to bring Maxwell home to be surrounded by his family, funds must be raised to accommodate the move, including specialist equipment.

A friend of the Smith family, Amneh Sheikh-Ali who owns Amneh’s Beauty Salon in Thakeham decided to host a leg waxing charity event.

Inviting residents to witness the hair stripping treatment from her salon, Sheikh-Ali hopes to raise money that will contribute to Maxwell’s cause.

“There’s not a charity that I know of for this disease because it’s so rare, so I want to raise the money for all the equipment he needs like the ventilator,” she said.

Maxwell’s mother Emma Smith said she hopes that this charity event and others in the future will help provide for Maxwell once at home.

Mrs Smith said: “Because Maxwell has to spend a lot of time in bed we’d like to get him a sensory room and other facilities, which the NHS can’t provide for.

“He needs around the clock support especially now because his body’s become completely limp.”

An employee at the White Horse pub in Thakeham, Tom Day, offered to have his legs waxed and head shaved to help raise the money.

Mrs Sheikh-Ali recalled: “He was drunk at the time, so I wasn’t sure whether he meant it, but the next day he phoned and said he was still happy to go through with it.”

Mrs Smith added: “Amneh’s amazing, she’s really helped with organising this event and selling wristbands for us. The money will not just help Maxwell now, but will also support him as he gets older.

“We’re hoping to get him back home to us around August time, because we want to spend as much time with Maxwell as we can. We don’t know how much time we have with him left.

“We’d even like to raise money for research into the disease.”

The charity event will take place at Amneh’s Beauty Salon on Saturday, June 1, at 1.30pm, and then onto The White Lion pub where the highest bidder will shave Mr Day’s head.

A barbecue will be available and donations welcome.

To learn more visit www.littlemaxwell.org