Equestrian community pulls together to help one-year-old child with rare cancer

  • The equestrian community has come together to help fund treatment for a one-year-old boy who is suffering from a rare form of cancer.

    Ted Neal was diagnosed with a tumour in his sinus last year, which spread to his skull. He has undergone chemotherapy and an 11-hour operation to remove the tumour, but requires further treatment that is unavailable on the NHS. His parents Jessica and Lee are trying to raise £150,000 for Ted to be treated in either the Netherlands or the United States.

    Family friend Lauren Cox has organised a fundraising ride and walk on 23 January at Shipley Park, Derbyshire, followed by refreshments and a raffle at Nutbrook Cricket Club.

    “I work with children as a primary PE sports coach and hearing about a little boy going through all of this, let alone what his family has gone through, just made me want to do something to help,” she told H&H.

    “We are asking riders to donate £5 and walkers £2.50 and we plan to do a two-hour loop around the park. It started off with friends and family but once we put the word out, it went crazy and so many people became interested. We’ve had to limit the number of horses coming now because of parking, but walkers are still welcome and everyone can join us at the cricket club.”

    Lauren, who will lead the ride on her mare Pandora, said the equestrian community has been “so supportive” and raffle prizes donated include racing experiences and yard visits from trainers including Dan Skelton, Alan King, and Fergal O’Brien, saddle pads from equestrian retailers and non-horsey prizes.

    “We’ve got more than 50 prizes donated from different companies and individuals – there is something for everyone. A company called Spuds Ilkeston is doing the catering and is making a donation too,” she said.

    “It’s all been amazing, people who don’t know Ted have heard about him and want to help. The fact people are willing to give something means so much, especially to Ted’s family, they’re blown away by everyone’s kindness.”

    For more information about the event visit the Facebook page here. Donations can also be made directly to Ted’s GoFundMe page here.

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