Let’s help Alfie walk says store

Nrhn 270613 Staff members dress up for a cycle-a-thon in aid of Alfie Smith, who has a rare genetic condition.
Nrhn 270613 Staff members dress up for a cycle-a-thon in aid of Alfie Smith, who has a rare genetic condition.
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This month superstore staff in Langley Mill have been busy dressing up, packing bags and baking cakes in a bid to help a five-year-old walk.

Alfie Smith was born with a rare genetic disorder known as GA1, which means he cannot process proteins.

4-year-old Alfie Smith has a rare protein deficiancy which means he can't walk  - he needs special treatment which is very costly. The Asda store in Langley Mill has been busy fundraising for the youngster.

4-year-old Alfie Smith has a rare protein deficiancy which means he can't walk - he needs special treatment which is very costly. The Asda store in Langley Mill has been busy fundraising for the youngster.

The Awsworth youngster is constantly prone to infection and cannot stand without the use of walking equipment .

As his condition is so rare, treatment is not available on the NHS.

But his parents’ ongoing fundraising efforts to cover hefty physiotherapy costs have been given a boost by the staff of Asda Langley Mill this month - who have been on a mission to raise £333 every day in June.

Alfie’s mum, Michelle Whelan, 39, said: “We’ve been funding it all ourselves, but obviously there’s only so much money in the pot at home - and you have to live as well. I can’t thank Asda enough for it.”

Alfie is currently being treated a week out of every month at a special facility in Bedfordshire - at a cost of £700-a-session.

Parents Michelle and plumber David, 42, also want to begin taking Alfie to hydrotherapy sessions to help strengthen his muscles.

But the boost from Asda has given the family, which includes daughter Tia, 14, renewed hope.

“The doctors have said to us Alfie will continue to get better. If we keep him on the physio and a low-protein diet they say he could walk and could get stronger.”

Asda will be finishing the fundraising month, which has seen them hold in store cake and book sales and a cycle-a-thon, with a bang.

This Saturday and Sunday, June 29 and 30, shoppers will be able to throw wet sponges at sporting store workers in stocks, and see some of their colleagues bathe in jelly baths for the cause, part of a two-day fun weekend. Asda’s community champion Sharon Allsopp said shoppers have responded well to the Let’s Help Alfie Walk project, with more than £3,000 raised so far.

She said: “Our customers have been so generous, we are only asking people to empty their loose change, but we’re getting £5 and £10 notes.”