Bunty Stalham is a 7-year-old Ramsgate girl who, through an incurable condition Neurofibromatosis, her condition caused tumours to form on nerve tissue that eats away at bone. In this case her left fibula. Despite numerous operations at Great Ormond Street over the years to save her shin bone there was no other option but to remove the lower limb
An appeal to raise £20,000 was launched to obtain an ‘Activity’ prosthesis from the United States which will have attachments allowing her to carry out different activities. The prothesis has additional fittings which will enable it to grow with Bunty over the next few years.
To assist in raising funds, eight members of East Kent Freemasons Union Lodge No. 127 including the Lodge Master and Secretary along with their wives and under the leadership of its Charity Steward, Phil Redman, took part in the ‘Great Union Marathon’. They all pledged with sponsorship to walk 26.2 miles or its equivalent of 55,500 steps, as a full marathon or 13.1 miles or 27,750 steps as a half marathon, over a period of 7 days.
Sponsorship from other Lodge members, family and friends increased the funds in support of this very brave young girl and her family.
Even during the months of lockdown which gave them an opportunity to carry out that period of exercise, it gave the Lodge members not only a chance to increase their fitness levels, but raise funds to maintain the Lodge’s capacity for ‘Charitable Giving’.
Funds raised by the Lodge members totalled £1,500. An approach was made by Bunty’s father to the Cornwallis East Kent Freemasons Charity which matched the £1,500 and together they were able to complete the £20,000 required.
Neurofibromatosis is a genetic disorder that causes tumours to form on nerve tissue. These tumours can develop anywhere in the nervous system, including the brain, spinal cord, and nerves. Neurofibromatosis is usually diagnosed in childhood or early adulthood.