Team Direct back Connie to walk

PUBLISHED: 07:00 14 January 2014

Connie McCance with team direct on Woodbury common. Photo by Terry Ife ref exe 9800-51-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Connie McCance with team direct on Woodbury common. Photo by Terry Ife ref exe 9800-51-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

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Charity champions Team Direct are backing a Lympstone youngster’s challenge to walk, with a year of fundraising.

Connie McCance with team direct on Woodbury common. Photo by Terry Ife ref exe 9784-51-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24 Connie McCance with team direct on Woodbury common. Photo by Terry Ife ref exe 9784-51-13TI To order your copy of this photograph go to www.exmouthjournal.co.uk and click on myphotos24

Exmouth charity champions Team Direct are hoping to raise thousands of pounds for a Lympstone youngster who has had a life-changing operation.

Connie McCance was diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy before her first birthday and found learning to walk difficult.

She recently received a pioneering operation to get her on her feet - and to walk – after her parents fundraised £22,500 to pay for the op.

But if Connie is to fully benefit from the pioneering selective dorsal rhizotomy procedure - where surgeons free up constricting muscles – she needs constant and costly physiotherapy.

When taxi drivers Tony Quinn and Les Carde, of Direct Taxis, learned of Connie’s plight, they made the youngster the focus of their Team Direct 2014 fundraising efforts.

Last year the pair raised a massive £8,369 for Cancer Research UK after a 28-strong group of Team Direct charity champions scaled Mount Snowdon.

This year the team has set themselves two challenges to raise much-needed funds to pay for Connie’s specialist physiotherapy sessions, which take place at a dedicated unit in Scotland.

The first event is a walk from Sidmouth to Exmouth, where Connie will take part thanks to specialist expedition equipment.

In August, Team Direct will take on all 979 metres of the highest mountain in England - Scafell Pike, in Cumbria.

Tony Quinn said: “We first heard about Connie through the Journal just after she had undergone major, pioneering, spinal surgery and reading her story and the journey she had taken to get to where she was just blew us away.

“It was also shown that the local Lympstone community had gone way past what would be considered as local community support, raising an outstanding amount of money to help with this initial surgery.

“The Team Direct challenge this year is to raise funds for the long term, specialised physiotherapy requirements that are now needed for Connie.”

Connie’s mum, Lucy, said Team Direct’s decision to support her daughter was ‘mind blowing’.

“It’s amazing, what they are doing. We can’t thank them enough,” she said.

Team Direct hopes Exmouth will back the group’s fundraising efforts by either taking part in the challenges, donating cash, or sponsorship.

Tony is keen to hear from local groups willing to support Team Direct by holding additional fundraisers to help boost Connie’s physio fund.

For more information on Team Direct’s 2014 challenge, or to register your interest, visit their website www.teamdirectexmouth.co.uk

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