THE FAMILY of Macy Handley whose dreams of becoming a professional ice skater have been hampered by a devastating spine-curving condition are ‘overwhelmed’ by the support received so far during the campaign to raise £90,000 for her life-changing surgery.
The fund-raising has now hit £83,600, meaning less than £7,000 is needed.
The 12-year-old was diagnosed with idiopathic scoliosis and has to wear an uncomfortable brace for 20 hours a day.
Her family hoped the treatment would mean she would not need an operation but then an X-ray earlier this year revealed the devastating results – Macy’s spine had significant and abnormal curving.
The NHS operation sees the brace used until she stops growing and then metal rods fixed to the length of her spine which would leave her with a massive scar and restrict her movement.
The alternative – not available on the NHS or covered by medical insurance – is Vertebral Body Tethering (VBT), which is a kind of internal brace.
The £90,000 surgery would enable Macy, who is also a member of Mensa – the organisation for people with an exceptionally high IQ, to have a near-normal range of movement and reach her ice-skating potential.
The recovery time is also much quicker and Macy could be back at school within six weeks.
Because of the stage Macy is at, she is well-suited for VBT but ideally she needs the operation done by the end of May, before the condition gets any worse.
Macy’s mum Kerry, a sergeant in West Midlands Police’s Public Protection Unit, and dad Toby, also a serving police officer, launched the campaign to raise the cash.
Kerry said: “With everything going on, it’s been really challenging to balance work commitments and home life.
“But my direct line management have been wonderful, they’ve been flexible with my working hours and supported agile working.
“I’ve also been offered special leave which has allowed me to attend appointments and make necessary arrangements for Macy’s operation.
“We’ve been given a huge amount of support from both colleagues we work alongside and those we’ve never met.
“And the support has not just come from WMP but from neighbouring forces too.
“All the support has reminded us that policing isn’t just a career, it’s a family who support each other through times of need.
“And for this, we’ll be forever grateful.”
To donate to Macy’s campaign, click here.