By Bejay Browne
THE FAMILY of a Paphos toddler, blind since birth, has just a couple of weeks left to raise the thousands needed to help him see.
The two-year-old was born blind and his family is racing to raise the final €5,000 they need to help give him sight.
Iordanis (Dani) Demetrof born in March 2011 has already been treated in Thailand at a cost of €28,000. He needs three such treatments and promises of funds to cover the shortfall of the final €5,000 for the second trip haven’t materialised.
According to family friend, Nadia Frangeskou, after Dani’s plight was highlighted in the Cyprus Mail, offers of help have been flooding in, but despite assurances from supporters that the final amount would be covered, no large donations have been forthcoming.
Frangeskou said:” The family wishes to pass on their thanks to the public for coming forward to help Dani, as regular small donations of amounts between €10-€50 are being made into the account and every little helps.”
But, she added that despite promises to pay the outstanding amount by a local company which was made after meeting the family and examining all of the relevant paperwork, the final €5,000 needed remains outstanding.
An event held at Paphos Mall on Thursday raised close to €3,000 helping to boost the fundraising, but thousands are still urgently needed.
“Although the operation is not scheduled to take place until April, due to the bank restrictions, the family needs to raise the amount needed as soon as possible and send the €7,500 still owed in two separate payments, as no more than €5,000 can be transferred at any one time. So, if they send €2,500 now they must have the amount in place to know they can transfer it in March to secure the operation,” said Frangeskou.
The family are now worrying that Dani may miss his chance. Initiatives have so far been organised by a variety of local groups and charities, including Children’s Smile Cyprus, but this is still not enough.
Since his first treatment Dani’s sight has slightly improved in one eye and he is now able to react to light stimulation. His family believes that by completing all three treatments, Dani will have a real chance of being able to see.
Rafaela Dimitrova, Dani’s mother, said that just months after his birth he was diagnosed with severe optic disc hypoplasia by a specialist at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.
The first stage of Dani’s treatment was carried out successfully in Thailand at a cost of around €28,000. The second phase will take place on April 20.
Family members have raised about €16,000 in total, while another €7,000 has come from fundraising events. The final €5,000 is urgently needed to ensure he gets the next phase of his treatment.
Dani’s family members speak little English, but do have friends who are able to translate. They understand Greek.
To contact Dani’s family email:- [email protected]
Donations can be made at Laiki Bank – Account number 35000511403