A mum-of-four has slammed 'fake fundraisers' after one organiser allegedly disappeared with £1,000 in donations for her disabled son.
Blake Hostick, six, has Acute Necrotising Encephalopathy (ANE), an ultra-rare neurological condition that left him unable to walk, talk or eat unaided .
His mum Kirsty Hostick said he had been a perfectly normal four-year-old before he was was initially brought to hospital in February 2018 with flu-like conditions.
Blake had to spend five months in hospital and nearly a year at a specialist rehabilitation centre in Surrey, reports HullLive .
He is now living back home in Hull in the full-time care of mum Kirsty and step-dad Joseph Dowell, along with older brothers Kayleb and Haydon and newborn baby brother Lucian.
Friends and family have raised thousands to pay for a 'Mollii suit' for Blake – a special outfit that sends electrical signals through the body to help relax his muscles and aid their function and movement.
But not all fundraising efforts have such positive outcomes.
Kirsty said one person who had been close to the family had launched a fundraiser to help pay for a special iPad for Blake programmed to train his eyes to follow movement, improving his eyesight and muscle control and tracking his progress.
"They did a sponsored bike ride and raised nearly £1,000," she said.
"It's something we couldn't pay for with the funds for the other treatments.
"It took a while to hear back, then they said that they had bought the wrong one, a tablet, by accident. But we said it was fine and we could still get things on that which would be helpful, we didn't want to seem ungrateful.
"But then they disappeared off the face of the Earth.
"We phoned and everything but we didn't know if it was off, all emails were just bouncing back.
"This was a few months ago now and at this point I think we've realised we're not going to get that money for Blake."
Although Kirsty is immensely grateful for the support they receive from the countless donations to Blake's cause, she said it is the people who donate to the sham fundraisers that she feels sorry for.
"That's what really, really upsets me, thinking about all the people that paid for it thinking it was going to Blake – that's what upset me and I know that would irritate me," she said.
"It's just not fair when people think they're giving to something they want to give to."
And the fundraising for the iPad was not the only time that money raised for Blake has not made it to his family.
A swimming event in October saw one woman sponsor £100 for Blake, which also never got to him.
"She just vanished," Kirsty said.
But she said the number of people who take advantage of Blake's cause is far outweighed by the number of people who want to help and contribute their cash in good faith.
"It's amazing and we appreciate every single person that puts into it," she said.
"We know fundraising isn't easy to do, we've done it and failed ourselves a lot of times, it's so difficult. You've got to get the timing right, the right people.
"It takes a lot of time and effort, so to us it's a massive weight off our shoulders.
"And we feel like we're getting somewhere now, he's getting stronger and having intensive physio. His upper body and his legs, everything is getting a lot stronger.
"It's hard work but it's absolutely worth it."
Anyone wanting to sponsor the team raising money for Blake by running the Leeds half marathon in May can do so by clicking here .
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