KEEPING MOBILE: James Spokes with his family pet LG. His family is raising funds for a new vehicle to transport James in his wheelchair. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail
KEEPING MOBILE: James Spokes with his family pet LG. His family is raising funds for a new vehicle to transport James in his wheelchair. Photo: Mike Knott / NewsMail Mike Knott

Mum’s fake fundraising fury

A COUPLE fundraising for their terminally ill son have been left disappointed after hearing of a scamming attempt in the Bundaberg region.

Brandy and Matt Spokes have spent a hard 15 months raising funds to buy a van to help transport their 10-year-old son James, who has the rare genetic neuromuscular disorder, duchenne muscular dystrophy.

Their efforts have recently been undermined by a young boy doorknocking in the Kepnock region claiming it was for James's cause.

"I first heard about the boy when a lady who works at a local Foodworks said he had knocked on her door," Mrs Spokes said.

"She said he held up a printed picture of James and asked for money. He told her he was helping to fundraise by doorknocking in the Kepnock area so she gave him $5."

Mrs Spokes immediately reported the matter to Bundaberg Police.

"We then started to warn people on James's Facebook page and a lot of people commented saying that they had seen him numerous times before," she said.

The Spokes family have so far raised $26, 000 for the van that James will be able to drive his electric wheelchair directly into.

"For us, this van will be such a big help and James is really looking forward to getting it," Mrs Spokes said.

"We can hardly lift him now. He has deteriorated in strength and lost all of his ability from the waist down so he always needs assistance."

They are hoping to raise another $10,000 plus apply for government funding before they can purchase the vehicle.

Mrs Spokes said the fundraising process has been tough, with the scam only making it so much harder.

"It is very difficult because we need this van today, we just don't have the funds," she said.

"We have worked so hard for 15 months for this and to have someone out there saying they are helping when they are not is heartbreaking.

"I'm also worried about other people being scammed. We have warned people through Facebook but what about the elderly who don't use computers. How will they know?"



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