A LITTLE boy who defied the odds to survive is in desperate need of help to make his life easier.

Eddie Gillespie, who suffers with a rare form of cerebral palsy, can only walk a few steps on his own because of his balance and stiffness but he also struggles to use his hands.

However the nine-year-old’s family have launched a £25,000 fundraising appeal to make each day less of a struggle.

Mum-of-four Rachel, 42, has launched the appeal Eddie Steady Go to raise funds for Bobath therapy, a type of physiotherapy and an off-road wheelchair so he can explore forest tracks and beaches which he cannot access in his NHS wheelchair.

She said: “We are fundraising to provide Eddie with as many opportunities to reach his potential, to make his life easier than it is currently. He deserves an easier life. He's a very sweet loving little boy and all he does is smile. He even came home from school the other day with a certificate for smiling all the time."

Eddie’s first moments were a battle for survival. He suffered oxygen deprivation to the brain and had neonatal seizures as a result. He has global developmental delay, gastroesophageal reflux, IBS and ataxic cerebral palsy, which affects muscle control, movement and balance.

Rachel added: “Eddie’s gross and fine motor skills are affected massively and his mental age is a lot younger than he is. Eddie often feels a little ‘floppy’ and then stiff with walking which means he needs a lot of help to walk.

“Eddie also really struggles to use his hands too, making it impossible to play with toys or do the majority of daily tasks like dressing, toileting and so on.

"But he has never once moaned about having cerebral palsy ever.

"It can be such a struggle and having a disabled child you find yourself fighting all the time but I wanted to focus on something positive."

Rachel, from Wool, is organising an autumn charity ball to raise vital funds for Eddie at the Royal Bath Hotel in Bournemouth on October 27 from 7.30pm.

The black tie event features live entertainment from the Brass Monkeys and tenor Jon Valendar, a three course meal, casino and a raffle. For tickets, which cost £35 per person, search Eddie Steady Go on Facebook or call Rachel on 01929 401058 or 07894535343.