Lift-off for Lewis after massive donations

Christine Dryden, right, presents a �10,000 cheque to Lewis Wares and his mum Emma Wares from Towcester.'130430M-B
Christine Dryden, right, presents a �10,000 cheque to Lewis Wares and his mum Emma Wares from Towcester.'130430M-B

The parents of a five-year-old Towcester boy have booked a life-changing operation in America after big donations from a global business and a world -famous band.

This week Towcester resident Christine Dryden of AECOM, which has offices in Milton Keynes, handed over a cheque for £10,000 to the ‘We can do it’ appeal to raise £65,000 to send Lewis Wares to America for an operation to help him walk independently.

Lewis suffers from a form of cerebral palsy which causes ligaments and muscles in his legs to become cramped and spends most of his time in a wheelchair.

Mum Emma said she burst in tears when she first heard about the AECOM donation.

She added: “It came completely out of the blue and it really made me think this is possible.”

Just before Christmas Lewis’s friends at Nicholas Hawksmoor School helped record the charity single, Happy Birthday JC.

Thanks to the contacts of his song-writing grandfather Stewart Blandamer, pop legends Paul Young and Tony Hadley of Spandau Ballet added their own performance to the final single.

It sold 4,000 copies online and attracted the attention of alternative rockers Radiohead, who then wrote a cheque for £15,000.

Mrs Wares said Lewis has always said he will be walking by the age of six, and thanks to support from the community and beyond that was now a possibility.

He is now booked in the for the operation in July, and the long-term hope is that Lewis will be able to play independently and be able to get around with a walking stick. Mrs Wares has also been inspired by the success of Seb Strudwick, from Silverstone, who underwent the selective dorsal rhizotomy last year carried out by Dr David Parks at the St Louis Childrens Hospital in Missouri after a similar fundraising campaign.

The donation from AECOM came after their annual charity invitational golf competition at Whittlebury Hall last September.

Mrs Dryden said: “I explained Lewis is a handsome little boy who unfortunately needs an operation.

“I have two very active boys who go to school with him and it is sad to see that this boy does not have the same opportunities to play that my sons have.”

“For that reason I thought is was a worthwhile cause and so did they.”

AECOM is a Fortune 500 company with 45,000 employees around the globe and provides technical and management support services to a broad range of markets, including transportation, facilities, environmental, energy, water and government.

To support the fundraising for Lewis, visit