B.E. Ironbridge opened its doors at the weekend to offer more than just a haircut in the hopes of contributing to a fundraiser for eighteen-month-old Gunner Lewis-Vale.
In March, Gunner was diagnosed with a rare mucopolysaccharide disease, MPS Type 1 Hurler, which means his body cannot convert sugar into necessary protein in the body.
Gunner’s doctors have said his best chance of survival is with a stem cell transplant before his second birthday but there is currently no match for him on the UK stem cell register.
So his family have launched ‘Gunner’s Goal’, a fundraising appeal to help Anthony Nolan send thousands of swab packs to people who have applied to join the stem cell register.
Salon owner Brooke Evans, of B.E. Ironbridge, decided to host a fundraiser to raise money for the cause but also awareness so more people would join the register.
The fundraiser was held on Sunday, May 16 offering haircuts and blow-dries, with proceeds going directly to Gunner’s Go Fund Me page, as well as half the price of all product purchases made being donated too.
Brooke Evans said: “Typically the rain started pouring – I thought to myself we are going to have a wash out, but we had outdoor space undercover and I can’t express how grateful I am for the turnout!
"The atmosphere was electric and everybody was so generous including local businesses who donated so much. I hope we manage to get a donor for Gunner and he gets the support he needs.”
In total, the community raised £2,200 through the salon day, raffles and donations.
Brooke added: "I just wanted to stress as well that Gunner only has five months to find a match a bone marrow match so if anyone under the age of 30 is willing to, they should sign up to the Anthony Nolan Trust to see if they’re a match."
Other local businesses also involved included: The Malthouse Ironbridge, Mike Norman Art, The Toybox Ironbridge, Foundry Masters House, Energy Smart Consultancy, Tony North, Dale End Café, Abode @ no 5 Ironbridge, Grays of Shropshire, Copper Fox, Darlington Ironbridge, The Little Ironbridge Christmas Shop, Ironbridge fine arts and Moonshine & Fuggles.
Visit www.gofundme.com/gunnersgoal for more.