Cambridge United are pleased to announce tomorrow’s Community Hero sponsored by match ball partners Ethos will be Ronnie Leys – Check out Ronnie’s story here in a letter to Cambridge United supporters from his father Steve.
Run, Ronnie, Run
Ronnie is a three year old from Saffron Walden, Essex. He has spastic diplegia cerebral palsy and alongside Just4Children we want to help Ronnie fulfil his dream to walk independently without tripping or falling over as his legs tire throughout his everyday living. He currently is carried or pushed in a wheelchair mostly when we venture out as his legs just give up on him.
Ronnie was an unusual case to have suffered with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy as he was not a premature baby but born at 40 weeks and 2 days after a huge struggle during birth, and many complications along the way. Against all the odds he was born with good asgar scores, which to this day specialists are still in some shock to how this has happened. Ronnie's character which can only be described as a fighter had clearly helped him cope with such trauma during birth.
Ronnie had suffered a brain haemorrhage during his ordeal, and as a result a bleed to his brain and when he thought he had everything thrown at him he had a seizure on his first night, not the greatest welcome into this world. He had spent the first 16 days of his life in the care of Addenbrookes' hospital and continued to show his fight and determination to start what would be a very challenging life.
Our miracle boy proved quickly what it really means to have fighting spirit. Once discharged from hospital, we had no idea to what extent Ronnie would be affected, but was warned to take each day as it came and the jigsaw puzzle would piece itself together. Ronnie was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy at age two but the signs beforehand had pre-warned us of this formality.
Ronnie continued to fight on and his self-belief and determination enabled him to do anything he wanted to do with nothing holding him back. Ronnie was a late developer with walking and started at age two years and two months.
Since then he has really come on from strength to strength and is a keen sportsperson. He attends swimming lessons, dance & music lessons weekly and is a member of 'Cambridge In The Community' cerebral palsy football team coached by the excellent Phil Mullen, who Ronnie has taken a real shine to. Football is without doubt his biggest passion and playing football is one of the many reasons behind his incredible journey and progression to date.
Ronnie's fighting spirit has proved to be infectious along with his trademark smile. As a loving family we work so hard to fulfil many of his dreams and one being able to chase after his not so little brother Frankie, who himself is catching up with many of Ronnie's milestones which as a parent is tough to watch when there is a two year age gap.
We have literally done everything we can to help our beautiful boy Ronnie along the way as any parent would do, but we have accepted that an operation known as selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) is our next and only remaining option, which would literally change Ronnie's life for the better and give him everything he deserves. Sadly this isn't available on the NHS.
The operation in Bristol is around £20,000 and in St. Louis USA approximately £40,000, depending on how much we can raise will depend on where we decide to take Ronnie, this along with a minimum of 18 months physiotherapy and rehabilitation with a view of more if required.
This as you can appreciate is no easy task to raise ourselves but we will do our upmost to make this a possibility.
We know that Ronnie's fighting spirit will get him through this next hurdle if we are able to raise enough money and he will be able to live the life any child deserves.
As stated already Ronnie's character is so infectious and has the most incredible smile you will ever see, quite simply he was born a fighter.
Please help us help Ronnie walk without any more tumbles and help make a massive difference to our sons life by texting FITE67 and any amount to 70070 or finding Ronnie's campaign on Just4Children's website and searching Run, Ronnie, Run. We also have a Facebook page and can be found on Twitter @RunRonnieRun1 and thanks for reading.
Ronnie is a big David Amoo & Leon Legge fan and has already played on the same side as Leon when he set Ronnie up for a neat finish off the post at one of his 'Cambridge United In The Community' training sessions and is hoping to see them both play today.
Let's get behind the lads and cheer them on for a big three Points!!!
Clare, Steve, Ronnie and Frankie Leys.
PLEASE GIVE RONNIE A HUGE ROUND OF APPLAUSE WHEN HE PRESENTS THE OFFICIAL MATCH BALL, SPONSORED BY ETHOS, TO OUR REFEREE PRIOR TO KICK OFF TOMORROW.