JACOB Wright wants to be just like his twin brother Jordan.
But the four-year-old from Summertown in Oxford has cerebral palsy, and can only crawl.
Now his family and friends are fundraising for a £65,000 life-changing operation in America to help him to walk.
Jacob’s mum Lucy Fletcher, 24, said: “Jacob is the most happy, smiley and determined little boy you will ever meet.
“He really wants to be able to play together with Jordan.
“Jordan always says he wants Jacob to walk like him as well.
“That’s why we want the operation to allow him to walk.”
The twins were born prematurely at 28 weeks and only weighed just over 2lb each.
Both spent almost two months in hospital, but it was not until he was six months old that Jacob was given the official diagnosis of cerebral palsy.
The operation Jacob requires is called Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy (SDR) and involves cutting some of the damaged nerve fibres in the spinal cord. The nerve fibres cause Jacob’s legs to be tight and stop him from crawling, walking and even sitting comfortably on his own.
Having the operation could change all of that and improve his life for the better, but it is not widely available on the NHS.
Doctors have said Jacob is a suitable candidate for the SDR operation, but first he has to build up his core strength muscles so he is strong enough.
So far his family have raised £11,500 and are hoping to reach their target so Jacob can have surgery in America in June.
Miss Fletcher is a full-time carer for her two sons. Her partner, Scott Cook, is currently working in Iraq.
She said Jacob, who attends Grandpont Nursery in Oxford, is determined to live a normal life.
To help raise some of the remaining funds, 10 friends are set to parachute 13,000ft out of an aeroplane, falling at a speed of more than 120mph. One of those taking on the challenge is Jacob’s godmother Emily Richens, 24, from Stanton Harcourt, near Eynsham.
Miss Richens, 24, an entertainments manager, said: “Every day is a challenge for Jacob. He is so inspirational and he is only four.
“It puts things in perspective. If he can be so happy, it makes you think you have nothing to moan about.”
The skydive will take place at Hinton Airfield in Brackley, Northamptonshire, on Saturday, February 16.
Miss Richens said: “I’m feeling nervous but excited. It is a once-in-a-lifetime chance for most people.
“We are doing well with fundraising but this will hopefully be a big push in the right direction.”
Miss Fletcher said: “We’re extremely grateful to them for doing this for Jacob.
“It is a really brave thing to do. I couldn’t do it.”
- To make a donation, visit justgiving.com/jacobsfootsteps or send an SMS by texting JAKE65, a pound sign and the amount to 70070