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New limb hope for Kieran, 13
THE parents of a teenager who lost part of his leg to a rare form of cancer are renewing their efforts to get him a new prosthetic limb.
Kieran Maxwell, from Heighington, near Darlington, underwent an amputation at the knee of his left leg in March last year, after being diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, which attacks bone and muscle tissue.
The 13-year-old, who is now in remission and will be one of the region’s Olympic flame bearers, already has an NHS-issue prosthetic.
His parents, Nicola and Alistair, want Kieran to have one that will help him to develop his sporting ambitions.
Kieran recently joined a gymnastics club, the Athena Sports Academy, in Newton Aycliffe, County Durham.
Mr and Mrs Maxwell have set up the Kieran Maxwell Trust to raise funds and are hopeful he will have his new prosthetic by the time he completes his 300m stretch of the Olympic torch relay, in Bishop Auckland, in June.
They will next month meet specialists from the Hampshirebased clinic Dorset Orthopaedic, whose clients include Lyndon Longhorne, the Crook teenager who endured multiple amputations after contracting meningitis and meningococcal septicaemia as a baby.
Private clinics can charge anywhere between £10,000 and £100,000 for prosthetic limbs, said Mrs Maxwell.
The couple have set a fundraising target of £15,000 and are already about halfway there.
Mrs Maxwell said: “The top-ofthe- range prosthetics are not cheap, and we would also have to pay for any adjustments it needed in the future, for example if Kieran had a growth spurt.
“I was talking to a lady whose son’s cancer has come back four times, so that is always a bit of a worry.
“We take it one day at a time and he sees his oncologist once a month for check-ups.”
Kieran recently enjoyed success in a gymnastics competition with his club, of which he is the first wheelchair member.
He and other members recently took part in their first regional competition, at Deerness Valley Gym Club, near Durham City.
They won a total of 34 medals, to the delight of their coaches and parents.
A table-top sale will be held in Heighington Village Hall from 10am to 1pm on Saturday. Admission costs 50p, with proceeds to the trust.