Jo’s Last Wish fund reaches £35,000

Bereaved brothers Jack Rayner (left) and Kallum Lynch (right) with their grandad Patrick Lynch.An ap

Bereaved brothers Jack Rayner (left) and Kallum Lynch (right) with their grandad Patrick Lynch.An appeal has been launched called Jo's Last Wish to raise the £25,000 to enable two brothers to be adopted by their aunt in America.Picture: James Bass - Credit: Eastern Daily Press © 2016

Applause rang out in a Gorleston theatre as a fundraiser for two bereaved boys brought the house down.

Acts took to the stage at the Pavilion Theatre on Friday night entertaining a packed audience and raising £2,300 for Jo’s Last Wish.

The appeal was set up to grant Jo Lynch’s last wish that her two young sons would start a new life with her sister in America after she died aged 29 in July last year.

Kallum Lynch aged nine, and seven-year-old Jack Rayner were among theatre goers enjoying the variety show.

They found themselves treading the boards as the curtain came down having been called up by compere Lee Derbyshire to get a few of their teachers involved in some humorous hi-jinks.

The event was one of many going on across the borough after the fund was set up by caring staff at Edward Worlledge Primary School, where the boys are pupils.

Appeal co-ordinator Linda Dickeson said it was a brilliant night with everyone digging deep to support a raffle of over 100 prizes.

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She added: “With everything so far we are up to £35,000 and we have not finished. There are still some schools that have done things that have not given us the money yet.

“The acts were so funny and the singing was of a really professional standard. The theatre owners said it was one of the best charity shows they had seen.

“The boys were taken up on stage by Lee Derbyshire of Hopton’s Haven Holiday Park, he really kept the show going and you can see why he has got the job he has. We had some great acts and they all gave their time voluntarily.”

The Lynch family have been blighted by an inherited form of cancer that has already lead to the deaths of the boys’ mother, four-year-old aunt and grandmother.

Kallum battled the disease as a toddler and Jack has just found out he too carries the lethal gene which means he will probably develop cancer before he is 30.

The fund was initially launched to cover the £25,000 needed to pay for the trans-Atlantic adoption with house checks, DNA tests and parenting courses required under US law. Any extra will be put in trust for their continuing health needs.

A Crowdfunder page has been closed as the school winds down its involvement, although staff are expecting a spike in interest when their story is told on BBC1’s The One Show in the next few weeks.