Freemasons Donate €1,000 To Autistic Boy’s Stem Cell Campaign
A Masonic lodge in Los Cristianos has donated €1,000 to the crowdfunding campaign for a non-verbal autistic boy to receive groundbreaking stem cell therapy in the US.
Worshipful Master Steve Knight, Worshipful Brother Tony Perridge and Worshipful Brother Ray Shaw (Treasurer) of Lodge Ave Fenix No.73 presented the cheque to Danny Bullen’s father Lee last week.
Danny, who attends a special needs school in Güímar and requires his family’s assistance for basic tasks such as using the toilet, was diagnosed with autism in 2010 when he was two years old.
The cute 11-year-old, son of British writer Lee Bullen and Spanish teacher Irma Guanche, travelled to the Art and Science Surgicenter in Miami last month for stem cell therapy costing $15,000 and hope to travel again in August for a $10,000-procedure.
To help with the costs, Danny’s parents have launched a crowdfunding campaign on GoFundMe where they hope to raise €30,000 for the two sessions and some of the travel and accommodation expenses.
They have already managed to raise around €10,000 through kind donations by residents and Tenerife-based groups such as Helping Hands, who also donated €1,000, and the CD Tenerife supporter’s club Armada Sur who raised €100 during a recent home match.
Meanwhile, Lee’s relatives in Australia held a ticket event for Danny’s campaign which raised a whopping €2,500.
The latest generous donation by the Mason’s came from the funds raised during Tony Perridge’s year as Master, which had recently been earmarked for Danny’s cause.
The Ave Fenix No.73 members wanted to emphasise the charitable nature of the Organisation, saying: “We raise money for good causes, that has always been the Masonic aim.”
Lee, who wrote a book about coming to terms with Danny’s condition called ‘Beset’, said “Doctors introduced umbilical cord blood stem cells with cells from my son’s bone marrow and adipose tissue.”
“He had his first treatment in March, and the early signs are very encouraging. He is much more alert and has already started to use a few new words.”
“Undergoing stem cell therapy over two or three visits usually brings better results, which is why we hope to take Danny to the US at least twice.”
“All symptoms related to ASD have completely disappeared in many young patients.”
However, while early studies have showed promise for stem cell therapy as an autism treatment, scientists believe it is still in its infancy and say more research is needed.
According to the National Autistic Society, autism affects one in 100 children in the UK while the charity Autism Speaks estimates that one in 59 people in the US have ASD.
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