A 12-YEAR-OLD girl with a curved spine is a step closer to having the pioneering treatment she needs thanks to a community fundraiser.

Lauren Rennie, from Ushaw Moor, near Durham, was born with a 54 degree bend in her spine and is due to have vertebral body tethering surgery in Germany next month. Her parents, Joanne and Stuart, have been trying to raise the £32,000 needed to fund the operation for months and are hopeful they will hit their target.

On Saturday, Mrs Rennie staged a family fun day at Bearpark and District Workingmen’s Club, with hundreds of people of all ages turning out and helping to raise more than £1,000.

Highlights of the event, called Bent not Broken, included a funfair provided by O’Briens Funfairs and Catering and a sponsored Zumba session led by fitness instructor Sarah Madden.

Mrs Rennie said: “We are so grateful to everyone for their support -friends, family and the community have been amazing. The surgery will make a huge difference to Lauren’s quality of life.”

During the consultation in Germany, it emerged that Lauren, who was diagnosed with scoliosis when she was one, has three curves in her spine, which means the operation will be more complex. The surgery, which is not yet available in the UK, will allow the Durham Johnston pupil to continue to play the sports she loves.

To make a donation, visit justgiving.com/crowdfunding/joanne-rennie