12:37PM, Thursday 31 July 2014
A young dad with a brain tumour has been confirmed as a candidate for high-tech 'proton therapy' which could save his life - but more money is needed to help pay for his aftercare.
A hospital in Oklahoma this week told Matt Rackley, a 24-year-old electrician, that he is suitable for the operation.
It uses a concentrated dose of radiation to target his brain tumour without harming surrounding tissue. It is not available in Britain.
So far more than £100,000 has been raised by Matt's Fund - the campaign set up by his younger brother Chris - leaving it just £50,000 shy of the initial target.
The Rackley family has been working with the Kids'n'Cancer charity to get the operation.
But doctors have told the Rackleys, who come from Cox Green, that they may need more cash in case Matt needs pricey aftercare.
Matt has one-year-old son, Freddie, with his girlfriend Hollie Gemmel. The three live together in Cookham.
The 22-year-old is amazed at how the community has rallied around Matt.
She said: "It's very overwhelming. I just can't believe how many people are helping out and getting involved and giving up their spare time.
"We'll be forever thankful."
To help out Hollie leapt 10,000 feet in a charity sky dive. Her friends Leigh-Ann Strand and Hazel Wilkinson spent Tuesday rollerskating from Maidenhead to Reading and back.
Bar crawls, tea parties, cake sales and old fashioned bucket collections have also helped collect cash.
On Sunday there is a big fundraiser in Ockwells Park.
Chris Rackley, who has co-ordinated the fundraising, praised the Matt’s Fund team for their 'non-stop' commitment.
He added this is brother is moved by the response to the campaign.
"He's a lot better in himself, a lot happier, a lot more positive. From day to day things are hard but over the course of the last two, three months he's improved so much," said Chris.
Visit here to donate.
A big summer fundraiser will take over Ockwells Park on Sunday with the cash going towards Matt’s Fund.
The day is part of a push to raise as much money as possible to give Matt Rackley a fighting chance in his battle with a brain tumour.
The fun-day kicks off at 1pm, with live bands and comedy, a rodeo bull, bubble football, bouncy castle, It’s a Knockout style assault course and children’s entertainers.
Food will include a barbecue and hog roast.
Matt’s brother Chris said: "We have got a massive raffle with a £1,000 first prize. It’s probably the most amazing tombola ever. We’ve got some really cool stuff.
"There will also be an auction, with a trip on a plush £1m yacht among the items."
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