A RARE piece of television memorabilia, signed by a host of the nation’s favourite small screen stars, is to be sold in aid of a seriously-ill boy.
A replica of the famous Coronation Street street sign, signed by the entire soap cast, is about to be auctioned to raise funds for Kyran Richmond.
The eight-year-old from Chilton, in County Durham, has the rare condition juvenile Batten disease, and is only expected to live into his late teens or early 20s.
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He is only the third person in the North-East and one of only 150 across the country ever diagnosed with the disease.
Kyran is going blind, suffers night seizures and will develop epilepsy, lose the ability to walk, talk, eat and see, before developing dementia and symptoms similar to Parkinson’s disease.
A fundraising group has been set up to raise money to aid Kyran’s future needs and support the Batten Disease Family Association (BDFA).
After getting to know Kyran and his family through friend Mia Dailey, the group’s secretary, Neil Wareing, a sound operator with Coronation Street, decided to help.
He collected autographs from the entire cast on the famous sign and producers have confirmed it is a true collector’s item, as it is the first time so many actors have made such a gesture.
A signed Newton and Ridley tray, from the fictional brewery that serves its ales in the Rovers Return, is also up for grabs.
Kyran’s mother, Debbie, said: “It has been a heartbreaking time for all of the family, but the fundraising campaign has made a difference to the quality of Kyran’s life already and, hopefully, to help the Batten Disease Family Association in its quest to find a cure.
“The kindness and support shown from the cast and crew of Coronation Street is unbelievable.
“To take their time to autograph the sign, which is the only one of its type in the world, is amazing.”
An online auction for both items will begin on eBay on Thursday and will be open for bids for ten days. Proceeds will be shared equally between the BDFA and Kyran’s personal trust fund.
Mrs Dailey said: “We are expecting literally thousands and thousands of Coronation Street fans to be desperate to get their hands on such a rare piece of memorabilia.
“It’s never been on offer before and the producers say there are no plans to do it again.”
To make a bid, search for the eBay username kyran richmondfund, or for more information about the campaign go to kyranrichmond fundraising.co.uk