South Shields man, 20, continues fundraising campaign to pay for prosthetic leg after cancer battle
A South Shields man who underwent a life-changing amputation on his 20th birthday is continuing to fundraise for a prosthetic leg that will give him a better quality of life.
Kai Heslop, from Horsley Hill, had his leg amputated above the knee at Newcastle’s Freeman Hospital on May 11, 2021, after being diagnosed with a rare bone cancer called osteosarcoma in January.
Following the surgery, his uncle, Steven Lomas, launched a £60,000 fundraising drive to pay for Kai to have osseointegration surgery in Sweden that will see him fitted with a specialised prosthetic leg.
So far £9,697 has been raised on Kai’s Go Fund Me page and now his loved ones are preparing to hold a fundraising event at the Jolly Steward pub in Fullwell Avenue, South Shields, on Wednesday, August 11.
Organised by family friend Judith Rossiter, the family fun day will be held from 12pm until 7pm, featuring a disco, photo booth, bouncy castle, face painting and games.
Judith said: “I'm extremely proud of him.
"It’s a lot to deal with for anyone, especially considering how young he is.
"He's handled it really well and with a great sense of humour too. He's an inspiration to us all."
Kai’s family believe the treatment in Sweden would give Kai a greater quality of life, as this type of prosthetic would enable him to feel different surfaces as he is walking and allow him greater mobility.
The procedure will insert a metal implant into the bone of the residual limb, which then attaches directly to a prosthesis, eliminating socket-related issues.
Judith added: “He has an amazing family behind him and I want to just let him know we're all behind him and his family every step of the way.
"More importantly, I wish him a speedy recovery and all the very best for his future.”
Businesses or individuals who want to donate a raffle prize can do so by dropping them off at the Jolly Steward pub.
To donate to Kai’s fundraiser online visit: https://gofund.me/cfed2d2d