Vote for The Maddi Foundation to be the bucket collection for the Chelsea-Fulham match

PUBLISHED: 14:34 05 November 2018 | UPDATED: 08:39 06 November 2018

Maddi Thurgood on the farm at Saffron Walden County High School

Maddi Thurgood on the farm at Saffron Walden County High School


Chelsea Football Club has stepped in to help Maddi Thurgood, the teenager with a wasting disease in a race against time to help her condition.

The Premiere League Football Club is asking its supporters and the general public to choose which charity should have a bucket collection at the ground for the match on Sunday, December 2 and Maddi’s charity is on the list. People can vote online.

This is a London Derby, a match between Chelsea and Fulham at Stamford Bridge, Chelsea’s home ground.

Maddi’s family is raising money to pay for a possible treatment for her.

Research is being carried out at Sheffield University of Neurosciences to try to find a gene therapy specially tailored for her.

Maddi, 17, who lives in Toppesfield, near Finchingfield and is a pupil at Saffron Walden County High School, was diagnosed just before her 15th birthday in April, 2016.

She has a rare form of motor neurone disease, a progressively disabling condition, called SP15. The teenager, once a keen ice-skater, now finds it difficult to walk. She is enrolled on the animal care course at Saffron Walden County high but last term only had the energy to attend school intermittently. Yet, she is always smiling.

The initial research to find help for Maddi’s illness, a study which could, if successful help other children around the world, has cost £224,000 and the family has raised that but putting any treatment into action could cost £2million.

In June, Maddi’s mum, Carina, said: “The researchers are getting nearer to knowing how they are going to do this, what method they will use and the obstacles they face. There will be another year of research but producing a treatment and conducting clinical trials will take longer. Meanwhile all we can do is wait. We have to keep going, keep pushing and keep hoping.”

For the past two and a half years, Carina has spent every waking hour searching the internet and meeting medics to see if there is help for her daughter.

She said: “We are so grateful to Chelsea Football Club for giving us this opportunity. We are up against some bigger charities but it’s certainly worth a go as this could potentially be worth thousands to us.”

The cost of the initial research has been raised by community efforts with everything from a grand, black tie ball to primary school children at Dame Bradbury School in Saffron Walden paying to vote to see which teacher should have to walk through a muddy, weedy pond.

To vote for The Maddi Foundation to be the bucket collection at Chelsea FC, see:

Voting closes at noon on November 19.

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