A FUND to help a Caldicot tot have a pioneering operation has reached £13,000 after a club raised nearly £400 towards the appeal.

Two-year-old Imogen Ashwell-Lewis, of Lapwing Avenue, Caldicot, needs an operation to enable her to walk independently.

She was born 11 weeks early, weighing just 3lb 2oz, and suffers from a debilitating nerve-muscle condition known as spastic diplegia cerebral palsy, which means that she walks on her toes, has stiffness in her legs and poor balance and co-ordination.

She relies on a specially made wheelchair to get her around the house as her walker doesn’t reverse.

Her family must raise £40,000 so that she can have a radical procedure not available on the NHS called selective dorsal rhizotomy, which will help avoid further deterioration.

Her mum, Catherine Ashwell-Rice, 36, launched the appeal almost three months ago through the Tree of Hope charity.

The Chepstow and District Vintage Club raised £390 at its annual tractor road run, held in St Arvans.

Around 27 tractors and two Land Rovers took part in the 32-mile road run on April 13.

The club’s president, Bob Powell, said the group read about the plight of Imogen and Imogen’s Appeal – which is backed by the Argus’ sister paper, the Free Press – and wanted to donate the proceeds from the event to the cause.

Ms Ashwell-Rice said: “We now have more than £13,000, raised through donations and at fundraising events which include a sponsored chess tournament, fun day and car wash.

“I would thank the Chepstow and District Vintage Club, St Mary’s Primary, Bulwark, Caldicot School sixth form, Mike Knight, of the Monmouthshire Freemasons, Paul Beynon, Severn View Club, and Caldicot and Chepstow fire stations.

“It’s a privilege to meet so many lovely people as we follow this path towards Imogen’s new improved life.”

The next fundraiser is a sponsored zipwire at the National Diving and Activity Centre, Tidenham, on May 17. Entry is £10.

To take part, email cilycoed@gmail.com or visit www.justgiving.com/teams/helpimogen walk