A poorly youngster who loves nothing more than a good natter, is silencing himself to help other sick children.
Nine-year old Kai Diawne of Hexthorpe has undergone surgery nine times, forced by complications linked to his brain condition, chiari malformation.
He has already raised thousands of pounds for Sheffield Children’s Hospital, where he has been treated since the age of four, but is now determined to pull in more cash towards a new hospital wing.
On June 26 the bright young chatterbox plans to seal his lips for 24 hours in a sponsored silence to mark The Children’s Hospital Charity’s annual day of fundraising, Make it Better Day.
This day will see firms, groups and individuals across the country uniting in a bid to build the new hospital unit in Sheffield.
Kai was diagnosed with chiari malformation when he was four, meaning lower parts of his brain had been pushed down towards his spinal chord. He suffered problems with his balance and learning but doctors said they would not operate unless the effects became life-threatening as the procedure carried a high risk.
Mum Michele noticed late last year that Kai had deteriorated and an MRI scan confirmed pressure was building on his brain.
An operation was scheduled for January. But Kai suffered setbacks that resulted in him needing a total nine operations.
Michele said: “He has been through so much but I am so proud of him. He took six weeks in hospital before he could come home, and since then he has just said off his own back that he wants to fundraise.”
His family claim they can’t wait for his Make it Better Day sponsored silence, which will turn the volume down substantially in their household.
Kai said: “I think it is going to be really hard. I talk all the time. Everyone tells me so, especially my sisters and my nana. I think my best tip is to just shut up, write my words down and use a bit of sign language.”
There is still time to sign up for Make it Better Day and help to bring more world-class facilities to the hospital. Money raised on the day will go towards a plush new wing, with private rooms, a giant play tower and an outdoor courtyard.
Cheryl Davidson, community fundraiser at The Children’s Hospital Charity said: “Kai is an ongoing and amazing supporter of ours, and we are so grateful for everything he has done and continues to do. We need as many people as possible to join Kai, sign up for Make it Better Day and raise money to transform our amazing hospital!”
Last year, more than £60,000 was raised in a similar event for The Children’s Hospital Charity.
Ideas for fundraising include a bake sale, coffee morning, active challenge, sponsored silence, raffle, dress up or down at work or school, dinner party, talent show, or whatever you fancy to raise charity cash!
To find out more or to order a fundraising pack, visit www.tchc.org.uk