QUICK-THINKING mum Vicki Thorne seized the opportunity to turn a negative into a positive when she found a joke by top comedian Jimmy Carr anything but a laughing matter.
His comment about somoeone with cerebral palsy had Vicki wincing – her own daughter Iona-May, five, suffers from the condition.
But instead of tearing into the comedian after his performance at Worthing’s Assembly Hall on Thursday, Vicki persuaded him to support her family’s fund-raising drive to pay for improvements making it easier for Iona-May to live in their East Preston home.
And the following day, 8 out of 10 Cats host Jimmy tweeted to his two million twitter followers about the family’s fund-rasing appeal – a move which left Iona-May’s friends and family overwhelmed.
Vicki, of Roundstone Drive, said: “Iona-May suffers from quadriplegic cerebral palsy and it’s a day-by-day struggle for her.
“He made a comment about someone with cerebral palsy, which I thought was fairly tasteless. So I went to speak to him after the show and told him about Iona-May and the difficulties she faces and he seemed genuinely shocked.
“He was very apologetic and sent me an e-mail the very same day, saying that he wanted to do all he could to help promote our cause.”
On Friday, Jimmy urged his army of followers to support the family in their crusade to improve the quality of life for Iona-May.
In his tweet, he said: “@helpionamay has cerebral palsy is blind, can’t talk, sit or stand. All she wants is her own bedroom. helpionamy.com.”
Iona-May’s appeal wasn’t the only good cause to benefit on Friday. Jimmy tweeted about a number of other good causes, from across the country, to help draw attention to the allowance provided by the government to support carers of disabled people, which Vicki feels isn’t nearly enough.
She added that she and Jimmy had been in regular e-mail contact and that the comedian hoped to give more backing to the family, during the coming year.
She said: “It’s been a bit of a surreal week. We’ve had support from Jimmy, which helped generate a few more donations.
“But we also had someone drop us through an envelope with £280 in cash – which helped us hit £20,000.”
Iona-May’s family need to raise at least £30,000 to carry out the improvements, and stress that any extra support, no matter how small, would be greatly appreciated.
To donate, visit www.helpionamay.com