Cerebra has just received an unexpected donation for £10,000 from The Wilmington Trust. And it’s all thanks to campaigning mum Lisa Benson and her three year old son, Frankie.
Lisa told us the story: “I’ve been fundraising for my son to have ABA Therapy (Applied Behavioural Analysis) for severe Autism since he was 3 years old.
I found it very frustrating trying to get my young son diagnosed at the age of 2, when it was very clear to me he had some severe developmental issues. Once we had finally seen a specialist and had an official diagnosis I started to extensively research my son’s condition to find the best way to reach out to him and understand his world but also improve his life and help him to learn.
Even the simplest tasks like clapping hands and responding to his name were completely beyond his capabilities. I read about ABA being the only (scientifically proven) therapy to have an enormous impact on Autistic children and knew that I had to find a way to cover the costs of this therapy and help my baby.
My son’s father walked out on us when Frankie was around 6 months old and has never supported him financially. As a single parent and full time carer I couldn’t return to work so I had to find ways to raise the funds to pay for ABA and that’s when I started “Frankie’s Fight”, a crowd funding page that I promoted on Facebook. I have to date raised over £14,000 for Frankie to receive private therapy, which has had such a positive impact on him, literally life changing.
I organise sponsored events, race nights, raffles, boot sales and beer festivals in order to get funds but I also contact people I went to University with and other friends and relatives to see if their workplaces can offer us sponsorship or if they can donate prizes…some offices have held bake sales and mufti days for us.
I contacted a friend at Wilmington Trust and he put forward Frankie’s fund for a donation. Because we are a good cause and not a registered charity they were unable to donate any money but they were in the process of choosing some charities to donate to and ask me to supply the names of five charities that help disabled children, like Frankie. They said they would give them £10,000 each in his honour. I received a text two months later from my friend saying my chosen charities had been sent cheques!
I’m delighted that I nominated you. I also nominated Chestnut Tree House, PACSO, Chichester Down Syndrome Support Group and Caudwell Children and all got £10,000. Wonderful deserving charities that are very close to my heart and have all at some point helped a child I know. I was looking for help for my son and although I didn’t achieve my goal, I did manage to get something good out of my efforts and that pleases me”.
We are very grateful to the Wilmington Trust for their generous donation and to Lisa for nominating us. We wish her and Frankie all the very best.