Published on: 02 Mar 2015
A DJ from Emersons Green has turned fundraiser to help a young Bristol City fan who needs surgery so he can walk.
Ross Simmons, himself a life-long Bristol City supporter, was moved when he heard about the plight of Oskar Pycroft who has cerebral palsy and is in constant pain.
And now the 31-year-old is on a mission to raise as much money as possible towards the cost of the £50,000 operation.
Ross first found out about Oskar when the six-year-old went out onto the pitch at a city home match to tell the crowd about his cause.
Within no time Ross had set up an online donation page and organised a charity football match which saw ex-City and Rovers players unite with celebrities to take on a team of generous donators called Rosco Rangers.
The match, which took place at Bristol Manor Farm’s ground on February 8, saw the celebrity team, which included This Morning Chef Dean Edwards, Somerset cricketer Peter Trego, and actor Ashley Thomas, win 6-2.
The event, which included a raffle and auction, raised around £2,500, boosting Ross’s fundraising total to more than £5,000.
Ross said: “The football match was amazing. There was a good turn out, the weather was nice and there was a great atmosphere. We organised a match so Oskar could get involved in it. We made him manager of the City side for the day and he was over the moon about that. He loved it. It was worth it for that, nevermind the money we raised.”
Ross is now setting his sights on a some more heavy-weight fundraising.
He has signed up to take part in a boxing challenge called Zero to Hero which involves a ten-week programme culminating in a boxing bout in front of more than 1,000 spectators on May 24 at Whitchurch Sports Centre.
Ross, who DJs in clubs throughout the city, said: “I went to a Bristol City game with my friend who runs Zero to Hero and he’s been trying to get me to take part in it for ages. I never had a reason to do it but then Oskar came out and my mate said ‘Why don’t you do it for Oskar?’ It just went from there, really.”
Oskar, who lives in Whitchurch, needs the operation if he is ever to have a chance of walking.
The selective dorsal rhizotomy surgery is available on the NHS but Oskar’s family has been told he doesn’t meet the strict criteria.
Instead the operation has to be paid for privately at the cost of £50,000. This would cover the operation, early after care, rehabiliation, and check ups following the treatment.
Oskar has bilateral spastic cerebral palsy and suffers from constant pain in his muscles and joints. He is unable to sit, stand or walk independently, but despite this, he has a huge zest for life.
Ross said: “I’d like to thank everyone who has supported me. My initial target was £2,000 and I didn’t think I’d get to it but now I’ve doubled it and more and still have a few months left of fundraising.
“I went to meet Oskar and his mum and he is just such a nice kid. He is very happy and funny and we really bonded. He never moans or complains - he just gets on with it.”
You can help Oskar by donating through Ross’s Just Giving page www.justgiving.com/ross-simmons/