A seven-year-old boy has raised more than £1,700 to go into food allergies research by scoring thousands of goals in his back garden.
Manchester United fan Cameron Marr decided to take on the personal challenge to raise positive awareness about living with food allergies.
The pupil from Cultercullen, who has always been “mad about football”, dedicated all of his free time during February netting the ball for his cause, regardless of the weather conditions.
Since the start of his fundraiser, Cameron has scored a total of 5,102 goals in support of the Natasha Allergy Research foundation.
The pupil came up with the idea of shooting 50 goals a day himself to help other kids like him.
Cameron has suffered from severe allergies to hazelnuts, eggs and soya since he was few-months-old.
His condition requires very well-controlled food preparation, as even small amounts of cross-contamination in his meals could result in an anaphylactic reaction.
However, he has never let his allergies be an obstacle to practising his favourite sport as a proud member of the Formartine United football club and his primary school team.
And he is keen to raise money for food allergies research.
Cameron said: “I really like playing football, because it’s all been passed down from generation to generation – my dad likes it, his brother and his dad likes it, and so on.
“My dad tries to be my goalkeeper sometimes, but I’m too good for him.
“And then I started my challenge, because I wanted to help other kids who have food allergies like me.
“Maybe with more research I won’t have them anymore one day.”
The Natasha Allergy Research Foundation provides help and support for people with food allergies, while also focusing its work on finding better medicine and potentially a cure.
Following a campaign led by the charity in 2018, the Scottish Government recently passed new legislation, which requires all businesses to fully label ingredients on pre-packaged food items made for direct sale.
‘It’s been a huge learning curve for all of us’
Cameron’s mother, Rhona Marr, said this would benefit many people who find living with food allergies challenging.
She said: “It’s been a huge learning curve for all of us, especially at the start, because most of the ingredients are either hidden or under a different name.
“We’ve given Cameron quite a lot of responsibility from a young age, because he needed to learn everything to know what to avoid.
“Food allergies are dangerous and they should be taken seriously, but generally it’s just part of who people are and it hasn’t stopped Cameron from being a normal happy boy, who loves football, in any way.”
She said her son had been very focused on raising awareness about food allergies.
Mrs Marr added: “Everybody has been really proud of his determination and his ambition to get the word out there about what food allergies are and how people cope with them.
“We really wanted to raise more positive awareness about it and highlight how important it is to be inclusive of people who have allergies.
“He is absolutely delighted, because he has achieved so much more than what he thought was possible, and we are so very proud of him.”
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