Rory smashes £16k target for major op

Jim and Rory Holmes
Jim and Rory Holmes

A 12-year-old Heysham boy who spearheaded a musical campaign to raise £16,000 for a life-changing operation has smashed his target.

Rory Holmes, who has Cerebral Palsy, launched Rory’s Rhizotomy Riff Challenge in May, hoping to raise enough funds to pay for a major operation on his legs.

The campaign e has seen musicians from across the UK, and as far away as America, recording their favourite musical riff and posting it to social media, encouraging others to do the same.

The campaign came to the attention of musicians across the world, and as a result, 125 videos have had more than 160,000 views on social media, so far raising a total of £16,825.

This is more than enough to pay for Rory’s operation, which will go ahead in August at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, and the family now hope to raise even more money for other children with similar conditions.

Jim Holmes, Rory’s dad, who works at Promenade Music in Morecambe, said the family has been overwhelmed by the kindness and generosity shown so far.

He said: “It’s been absolutely fantastic.

“There’s no words really, every single message we got was just so supportive.

“We just want to say a big thank you to everyone who has donated, and we now hope to raise even more money for other children with similar conditions, by launching More Riffs for Rory.”

Rory, who attends Morecambe Road Primary School, will undergo a surgical procedure called Dorsal Rhizotomy surgery, which selectively destroys problematic nerve roots to relieve the symptoms of neuromuscular conditions common with cerebral palsy.

Musicians from Siberia, Sweden, Australia, New York and Nashville, as well as Lancaster and Morecambe, helped ensure the campaign was a roaring success.

Guitarists Francis Dunnery (ItBites) Paul Young and Bernie Marsden (Whitesnake), all helped to give Rory’s Rhizotomy Challenge a big push in terms of exposure. Now Rory, with the help of family and friends, will launch a new gofundme page to use the momentum to help other children and families, and they are still appealing for donations and “More Riffs for Rory”, and are encouraging musicians to keep spreading the word.

The new page is currently being set up, but you can find out more and continue to donate here: https://www.gofundme.com/rorysrhizotomy.