Gallagher has donated funding towards a life-changing operation for a four-year-old boy from Verwood, Dorset.
Cheers for Chester

The £500 donation for Cheers4Chester, set up in 2019 by Ben and Sam Walton to raise money for surgery in the USA for their son Chester, who was diagnosed with quadriplegic cerebral palsy as a baby, has been awarded through Gallagher’s Community Fund, a nationwide initiative which invites colleagues to nominate UK charities to receive vital funding for projects.

Quadriplegic cerebral palsy is a developmental disorder, caused by damage to the brain, preventing the normal development of motor function in all four limbs. As a result of his condition, Chester suffers from spasticity which prevents him from being able to stand or walk unaided, and is a full time wheelchair user.

Selective dorsal rhizotomy (SDR) surgery, which has already changed the lives of thousands of children across the world, works by permanently removing the spasticity in the patient’s muscles, in order to relieve stiffness, improve mobility and reduce pain levels.

The donation will go towards Chester’s surgery, which is scheduled to take place in the USA in February, and will also help to fund his post-surgery rehabilitation programme, involving private physiotherapy and strength and conditioning training.

Erica Bowles, who nominated Cheers4Chester and is based at Gallagher’s Bournemouth office, said: “Giving back to local good causes is a vital part of our role as a community broker, and we’re delighted to have had the opportunity to play a part in helping Cheers4Chester reach its fundraising total for this revolutionary procedure, which will help to enhance Chester’s quality of life significantly.”

Ben Walton, Chester’s father, commented: “This is incredibly generous of Gallagher and we can’t thank them enough for choosing to support us. We are currently gearing up to travel to the US (COVID restrictions permitting of course) for Chester’s surgery. Only a year ago this felt like a pipe dream given the astronomical cost of the procedure, but thanks to amazing supporters such as Gallagher we are close to making Chester’s dream a reality. Once we are back in the UK in April, the hard work will continue with several years of intensive rehabilitation, which will give Chester the best chance possible of one day taking steps of his own.”