A FUND for a ballerina with scoliosis has passed the £16,000 milestone.

The Lily-May fund aims to raise £45,000 for a pioneering spinal surgery that could see Maldon teen Lily May Potter’s dancing dreams come true.

The 13-year-old dance lover was devastated when she was suddenly diagnosed with severe scoliosis the day after her birthday.

But now the family has raised almost £17,000 from the public and fundraising events ahead of Lily’s surgery in Germany on February 17.

Mum Kathryn Barnett said: “We are so blown away by the support we’ve received from the whole community.

“It’s making such a difference to our fundraising.

“When we started this journey two weeks ago, we didn’t know if we could raise enough for our daughter’s surgery, but we knew we needed to try – the amount was daunting.

“We’d never crowdfunded before but were optimistic and the response has been positive and encouraging.

“The children’s charity Just4children have supported us hugely and as soon as the Justgiving page reaches the target the charity will be able to pay the hospital.

“The figure is close to £17,000 now with the £2,244 from the Morrisons bag packing, cheques that were received this week, and Gift Aid.

“We are so thankful for all the donations and I’m reminded of the post I added on New Year’s Day that a journey of a thousand miles starts with a single step.

“All these donations, big and small, have carried us well along our way and made a big difference.

“The target seems so much closer now.

“I look forward with faith and a hopeful heart that 2020 will see us succeed in treating Lily-May’s scoliosis.

“I have every faith that we will reach our target so that our dancing queen can have this pioneering surgery.”

Kathryn added: “Despite our daughter developing this condition unexpectedly, we feel very blessed.

“Blessed both that she is a candidate for this non-fusion surgical technique and that our family have received so much love and support in trying to raise the funds needed to pay for it.”

The family will now be hosting a swim-the-channel challenge on Thursday, January 23 at Blackwater Leisure Centre.

Teams will attempt to swim the length of the Channel in 90 minutes.

The event will be held from 7.30pm to 9pm.

To donate to Lily-May’s fund, visit justgiving.com/campaign/SpinalSurgeryforLily-May.