Mia May and Bas White

Six-year-old Mia May from Maidstone has a genetic disorder which leaves her blind and unable to speak or walk.

Retired courier Bas Waite, 63, from Warden Bay, Sheerness, is shaving his head at Maidstone Football Ground on Saturday July 17 to help raise funds for Mia. Bas and Mia’s dad Nick are mates because they are both Maidstone United supporters, but Bas had no idea Nick had a disabled daughter until he saw an item about the family on Meridian News.

‘At football we don’t really get beyond simple banter, so I’d never heard about Nick’s daughter,’ Bas said. ‘So when I saw them on the news, I wanted to do something to help.’

‘I haven’t had my hair cut since the first lockdown – it’s now down past my shoulders, so this seemed like the ideal opportunity.’

Since Mia’s condition was discovered following MRI scans at Great Ormond Street when she was ten months old, her parents Nick McDonald, 40, and Joanna Woollard, 36, have been tirelessly working with fundraising charity Tree of Hope to fundraise to pay for private physiotherapy and hydrotherapy to improve her strength and movement.

Nick said: ‘It means a lot that Bas is doing this for Mia – we’ve known each other for years through football and it’s great to have this extra support.’

The McDonald family has raised around £11,000 of their £20,000 target through sales of donations from local companies and events such as sponsored Tough Mudder races and triathlons by Nick’s colleagues at Fujitsu in Bracknell.

Nick added: ‘The need for fundraising is constant as Mia May gets bigger. There are adaptations to the house we need to make, we want to get her a special bath as she loves being in the bath, and a new bike trailer as we used to take her out on our bikes but she is too big for it now. Plus, once Covid restrictions ease, we want to continue with physio to give her the best quality of life possible.’

Mia May

‘We are always grateful for donations to Mia May’s fund, or for items that we can sell or raffle.’

Tree of Hope CEO Gill Gibb said: ‘We are delighted to be supporting the McDonald family in their fundraising and wish them all the best in their continued fundraising.’

Children’s charity Tree of Hope helps families fundraise for children like Mia with healthcare needs and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support whilst also providing donor reassurance.

To donate to Mia May’s fund, visit https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/mia-mcdonald/ or https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/baswaiteheadshave

By Ed

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