A BOY who has cerebral palsy and dreams of being a footballer is in need of £15,000 to have a chance of “a better life without pain.”

Jacob Stankiewicz was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy in his legs when he was two-years-old and last year his parents Bogdan and Anna began fundraising for their “cheeky” six-year-old to have life-changing treatment.

The Balksbury Infant School pupil has now secured an operation, Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR), in St Louis, America, to remove the spasticity, or muscle stiffness, in his legs, after fundraising, charity support and taking out a loan to pay for the treatment not funded by the NHS.

Children’s charity Just4Children is appealing for £15,000 to cover the costs of Jacob’s after treatment which he will need for several years to come.

Jacob’s father Bogdan said: “He wants to run fast, he wants to do everything, he wants to play normally.

“Jacob’s asking ‘when are we going?’ all the time, ‘when will we fix my legs?’

“Some kids you wouldn’t believe they were in a wheelchair but now [after SDR] they can walk. It takes a lot of time, effort and work but it is worth it.”

The parents set out last year to raise £80,000 to cover the costs of the operation and aftercare.

The SDR operation in the United States cost the family more than £43,000 but as the best clinic for the treatment in the world, Bogdan and Anna think it is his best chance.

Bogdan added: “At the moment we’re more stressed than excited, it is a big thing. It is not very complicated surgery but like any other surgery something could go wrong. We don’t want to lose what he’s got he can walk now.

“He’s got private physiotherapy on an ongoing basis at the moment, he’s doing OK, he’s a very good candidate for SDR.”

Currently Jacob attends Fighting Falcons School of Martial Arts for karate, one-hour physiotherapy and goes swimming each week as ways to improve the condition of his legs.

Bogdan and Anna said physiotherapy can cost within the range of £50-90 per hour, and the family must travel to other parts of the county for physiotherapy as there are no provisions for Jacob’s condition in Andover adding to the strain.

Once Jacob has SDR surgery he must undergo physiotherapy three times a week for possibly two or three years.

The family are continuing to fundraise to help Jacob’s chances such as putting on events and Bogdan even went skydiving on Wednesday.

They are happy to be contacted by anyone willing to help his cause.

A spokesperson for Just4Children said: “"Jacob has cerebral palsy which affects his legs, making them painful and stiff.

“If sufficient monies can be raised Jacob will be able to receive therapies that will enable him to have a more normal and better quality of life."

To donate visit https://just4children.org/children-helped2018/jacobs-sdr-therapy/ or text THER93 £5 to 70070.

To follow Jacob’s journey and contact the family, visit Facebook and search ‘Jacob's Life With Cerebral Palsy’.