ENGLAND, August 14, 2017 (LifeSiteNews) – The fundraising website GoFundMe is donating £10,000 (about $13,000 USD) to The Charlie Gard Foundation, which will help children with rare diseases and their parents fighting for their right to treatment.
Charlie's parents, Chris Gard and Connie Yates, used GoFundMe to fundraise more than $1.5 million to transfer Charlie to the United States for experimental treatment for his rare mitochondrial disease.
But Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) fought for months to disconnect Charlie from life support against his parents' wishes. Eventually, Chris and Connie withdrew their request to move Charlie because GOSH's months of stalling eliminated Charlie's chances for recovery.
He died on July 28, 2017 at a hospice just a week before his first birthday. GOSH prevented Chris and Connie from being able to bring Charlie home to spend his final hours.
Charlie's case drew international attention, with President Trump, Pope Francis, and numerous international figures supporting his parents' rights to determine his course of care. A Vatican-owned hospital offered to treat Charlie, but GOSH wouldn't let them.
Thanks to blocking from British and European courts, Charlie's parents were never able to use the money they raised to bring Charlie to the U.S. for more treatment.
“It…gives us great pleasure to announce that gofundme.com have been so touched by our cause that they have kindly donated £10,000 towards Charlie’s foundation,” Chris and Connie announced today. “A wonderful gesture from the team, and we are extremely grateful for their generosity. All existing donations from our gofundme fundraising account – and any new donations – will now go towards Charlie’s foundation.”
“We feel that the foundation will be a lovely legacy for Charlie, and we hope that you will all continue to support us in honouring the life of our little warrior as he helps other poorly children and their families,” his parents said. The foundation's goal will be to “help other children with mitochondrial diseases, and rare childhood illnesses.”
“We also intend on becoming a hub of information for parents that may find themselves in a situation like ours,” said Chris and Connie. “There needs to be more clarity for parents about parental rights when it comes to making life-saving decisions about their children. Access to medical treatment, and expert clinicians, should never be denied if funds are available. We will be looking at ways in which we can help make things clearer for families and hospitals alike.”