Charity match for ill Attleborough boy

A south Norfolk football team will be hosting a fundraising match this weekend to support a children's hospice which cares for one of its team members.

A south Norfolk football team will be hosting a fundraising match this weekend to support a children's hospice which cares for one of its team members.

Five-year-old Rian Snell, from Attleborough, who plays for Morley Youth Football Club, visits East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) in Quidenham.

His club will hold a dads versus coaches match to raise money for the charity on Saturday.

Just 22 weeks into her pregnancy, Rian's mum Karen was told her son had post urethral valve - a condition which can cause bladder and kidney damage.


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Rian was operated on while still in the womb and was born naturally. Although an initial success, the surgery prolapsed.

The plucky youngster has now had 15 operations to try and control his condition, including a skin graft between his small intestine and appendix to create a hole where he can be catherterised, and a gastrostomy so he can be fed via a tube into his stomach.

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Two years ago, Rian also underwent a kidney transplant with a kidney donated by his mum. Despite best efforts, problems began to surface his other kidney and doctors made the decision to have it removed in June this year.

The Norwich City fan is now awaiting tests to find out whether there are any underlying causes to his condition.

Throughout his treatment, Rian and his family have been supported by EACH which has allowed them to go on short-breaks together, provided counselling and been a shoulder for Rian's older brother Arun, six.

'Words can't describe how difficult it has been to care for Rian, but EACH has helped us on that journey,' said Mrs Snell.

'We have used short-break care so my husband Matthew and I can spend quality time together and with our son Arun, who often feels left out because of Rian's 24/7 care needs.

'The emotional support we have received from EACH has been the most important aspect of care as it has helped us to express how we feel and speak to someone about our concerns and fears.'

The charity football match will take place at Morley Village Hall playing field, with kick-off at 3pm. Entry costs �1.

Colin Blyth, organiser and team coach, said: 'The aim of this event is to support Rian and those who have supported him - in this instance EACH.

'Rian plays for the team as does his older brother Arun, while their dad Matthew coaches one of the teams. We thought we should so something to highlight the important work the hospice does in a fun way.'

EACH needs �4m a year to provide its services - that's �11,000 a day. Last year the charity helped 464 families.

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