Brave Kim will be supported by grand charity ball

Brave Kim will be supported by grand charity ball

A courageous 14-year-old who had to have her leg amputated after being diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma cancer will be supported by a sell-out charity ball this weekend. The GeeWizz Secret Garden Ball will be the first big fundraiser for the new charitable foundation, set up by campaigner and fundraiser Gina Long MBE in December. And the charity has announced plans to support Ipswich schoolgirl Kim Sale and her family by helping to fund a prosthetic sports blade from the proceeds of the glamorous evening – along with continued support going forward. The sports-mad Kesgrave High School pupil had her right leg amputated above the knee in October after she was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of cancer, in May. This prompted a fundraising bid from family and friends to buy a silicone prosthetic leg – with Kim even discussing the possibility of one day starring in the Paralympics. She will be supported by the charity ball on Friday evening at The Hangar at Milsoms Kesgrave Hall and Gina said: “I started GeeWizz because I wanted to create a charity people can trust with full transparency and accountability. “I wanted to directly support young people like Kim while clearly showing all donors and fundraisers exactly where every pound of their money is going. “I am delighted that we are able to support Kim, a remarkable young lady from a remarkable family, and that they are able to attend this very special evening.” Kim’s mother, Kellie Thorndyke, said: “I would like to say a massive thank you to Gina Long and the GeeWizz charitable foundation and everyone who is attending tonight in support of this charity. “She has talked about one of her aims being to get to the Paralympic Games in the future. Watching Richard Whitehead MBE in Rio cemented those thoughts and she was left in awe of him and his achievements. “For now, she has just commenced Year 10 and her GCSEs at Kesgrave High School who have been incredibly supportive to her over the last 15 months.” The grand charity ball was virtually sold out four months before the big event and will be supported by former England cricketer Graeme Swann, Suffolk operatic star Laura Wright, who will be performing, and popular television presenter Chris Hollins who will be the MC for the evening. Organised in partnership with the Suffolk Magazine and Paul Milsom, owner of Milsoms, the evening will include a grand auction and a £25 ‘golden ticket’ where guests can own a piece of sculpture worth £10,000. Gina said: “We couldn’t have asked for more support for GeeWizz’s first big fundraising event. “Everyone is working so hard to ensure it is a great success and raise as much money as possible to support our work helping disabled youngsters and families affected by cancer.” GeeWizz was set up by Gina at the end of last year to create a platform to purchase much-needed equipment for children in Suffolk helping two specific groups - children with disabilities and those who are affected by cancer, either directly or indirectly, or those carrying out research into the disease especially sarcoma and breast cancer. GeeWizz was a major beneficiary of the Sir Bobby’s Online Auction in November 2015, which enabled them to fund a bespoke powered wheelchair for brave George Woodward who was diagnosed with type 2 spinal muscular atrophy, a condition that affects the spinal cord, causes muscle weakness and leads to severe disability. It will once again be one of the main charities involved in this year’s auction, which takes place between Saturday 22 October and Sunday 6 November.