Pupils at Guisborough's Belmont Primary School raised the final £2,500 needed to hit target
Rhys will get to Disneyland before he goes blind - all thanks to his friends
A brave little boy facing losing his sight and mobility should soon be on his way to Disneyland after his former classmates raised a massive £2,500.
The huge total - raised by pupils at Guisborough’s Belmont Primary School - has meant a fund set up to get Rhys Clapton to Disneyland Paris has reached its target of £12,000.
Rhys, eight, of Guisborough, was diagnosed in December with Spinocerebellar Ataxia Type 7 - a genetic defect which degenerates the brain’s co-ordination centre, the cerebellum.
It means the youngster is losing his sight and his mobility is declining. He now uses a frame to help him walk as he suffers increasingly from balance problems.
A Gofundme page was set up by charity fundraising group the Fat Lads on Bikes and Phat Lasses in Trainers in an effort to provide Rhys and his family with lasting memories while he can still see.
A cheque was handed over yesterday to Rhys and his mum Jeanette by the school’s headteacher Christopher Gibson after every school pupil - including Rhys’s brother and sister, Lucas, 10, and Ellissa, four, who attend the school - took part in a sponsored obstacle course and a non-uniform day, raising a massive £2,500.
Along with £850 still to come in from a bag pack by the Phat Lasses at Morrison’s on Saturday, the cash means the fund’s target has been met.
Jeanette, who took Rhys back to Belmont Primary see his classmates, have a bit of fun on the obstacle course, and to collect the cheque, said: “Rhys now goes to Sunnyside Academy in Coulby Newham but he only left Belmont in December so people know him here.
“The school were brilliant with him but as he got worse he needed more one-to-one help.
“I think he’s been a bit overwhelmed by it all. He doesn’t fully understand and keeps asking me ‘Mum, why are people giving us money?’
“There have been a lot of people offering to do things - it’s amazing.”
Phat lass Lindsay Clode said: “We’re doing really well with the fundraising - and our ‘big’ event hasn’t even happened yet - a zip slide from the Transporter Bridge on July 10.
“Rhys’s dad Richard works with my brother at Boulby Potash. They’re doing it along with some of their friends - and I’ll be taking part as well.”
Headteacher Mr Gibson said: “We’re so proud of the children. They’ve done so well to raise that amount - but that’s the kind of community we live in. Everyone pulls together.
“It’s been wonderful to see Rhys back - he’s welcome at our school anytime.”
Donations are still welcome, and any cash over and above the Disneyland fund will be spent on more memories for Rhys. Visit www.gofundme.com/rhys2disney