08:01AM, Thursday 04 October 2012
Cash donations to help pay for a disabled six-year-old girl's life-changing operation have been snatched by callous thieves.
The Windsor community has been busy fundraising to support Vivi Gregory-Osborne, who has spastic quadriplegic cerebral palsy which affects her arms and legs.
Her family, from York Avenue, are desperate to find the £50,000 needed for a revolutionary operation not available through the NHS.
The procedure could help Vivi walk - and avoid spending her life in a wheelchair.
The fundraising campaign suffered a blow overnight on Saturday when raiders crow-barred their way into GOGOs coffee shop owned by Greg and Gay Orlandini in Dedworth Road.
The raiders snatched cash from the till, food and a charity box filled with donations from customers touched by Vivi's plight.
Greg said: "We were called in Sunday after the owner of the shop next door saw our back door was wide open. The money for Vivi was in a green plastic box. A lot of people had put notes in so there must have been a lot of money."
The 50-year-old added: "We are offering a reward of £100 to anyone who can help us get the box and the money back."
Vivi’s mum Helen said her daughter, who goes to Oakfield First School in Windsor Road, was shocked that people would take money being collected for her.
"She says that when she is better she is going to take up karate so she can get them next time they try it," said Helen.
"What is so sad is that so much good will went into contributions put into that box."
The money being raised will fund the operation, which involves cutting nerves affected by the patient's condition, leaving unaffected ones intact so that the child gradually relearns how to walk, balance and move.
But it costs £25,000, followed by a three-week stay in hospital, intensive physiotherapy for two years - plus 20-years of follow up. Half of the £50,000 total has been raised.
Click here to see photos of musician Royston Thomas having his rasta locks cut in aid of Vivi's Venture.
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