Thanet’s Brave Bunty and her Bionic Leg Fundraiser

Born on 20th July 2012, Thanet’s brave Bunty May Stalham has shown courage and an incredibly positive attitude her entire life after being diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis just a few days after birth.  

The genetic disorder, which causes tumours to form on nerve tissuecan develop anywhere in the nervous system and despite 3 operations a year since diagnosis to try and save the shin bone, Bunty unfortunately had to have the lower half of her left leg amputated this May.  

In March, dad Dean Stalham created a GoFundMe page to help raise money to go towards a special prosthetic leg for Bunty, one that can offer her all the options of what any normal little girl can do including running, jumping, skipping and trampolining, a personal favourite of Bunty’s.   


CommunityAd caught up with dad Dean Stalham to find out more…   


Can you explain to readers just how heart-breaking it is having to go to the hospital 3 times a year with Bunty for operations?   

It was heart-breaking at the beginningas you can imagine seeing your baby go through so much but it got easieremotionally especiallyGreat Ormond Street Hospital for Sick Children is the finest hospital of its kind in the world. If it were a hotelit would be five stars pluswith a condition like Bunty’swhich is life longyou get to build relationships and you make friends with the staff and doctors. That personal touch makes things a lot easier to bear but still I would challenge any parent not to experience the pain your child is going through. 

You have mentioned on your GoFundMe page how inspirational Bunty is, always smiling and happy. Living at a time where there is so much negativity in the world currently, is it fair to say that we could all do with taking a page out of Bunty’s book?  

I have never seen Bunty cry evershe’s braveincredibly strong willed and can move mountains. It’s very fair to say everyone could take a page from her book – she’d willingly give you a page! 

Has the pandemic hindered any possible positive developments for Bunty in regards to the prosthetic? 

The pandemic caused a month-long delay to her amputation. It was ill timebut she soldiered on. 

How was your most recent trip to the hospital and is Bunty recovering okay? 

Bunty went into GOSH in May one Thursday and had her left leg amputated below the knee the next morning and was home on the Monday!  

She’s not cured of the condition but she doesn’t have it in the lower end of her left leg anymore. 

How did you and Bunty find lockdown? 

I am separated from Bunty’s mother and they all live in Surrey so during the pandemic I went from seeing her and her two sisters for 16 days out of every month to just 4 

We learnt how to FaceTime and Bunty recently visited me in Ramsgate where we went to the beach. Out of the three of themshe was first in the sea, she absolutely loves swimming 

Her wound was still healing and we were worried about getting sand into it but that worry soon passed when she asked me to bury her in the sand to make a mermaid. 

Can you give readers an insight into some of the incredible charity work you do with the local community? 

“I work for a Charity called Stretch; they were based in York but with my help have successfully made camp in MargateWe give artistic experiences to those that wouldn’t normally be able to access them and we give the vulnerable groups in our society a platform to share their often-unheard voices.”

From your GoFundMe page created in March, you have raised close to £13,000 of a £20,000 goal; what is your reaction to this and are there any particular people/groups/charities you would like to shout out?   

Big shout out to The Friends of Shelby Newstead and to everyone who has donated so farthere have been so many great words of encouragementThat support can mean just as much as cash.  

We have Buntys Big Art Auction coming up with our auctioneer Keith Brymer Jonesone of the main judges from Channel 4’s The Great Pottery ShowdownWe also have a Facebook page set up for this and so far, have received art from some of the UK‘s leading artists including former Turner prize Winner Jeremy Deller Bunty’s BIG ART Auction.”  

What has Bunty’s reaction been to this fundraiser?  

Bunty is genuinely interested in this and always asks after people. She mainly wants to know what they are saying more than asking about money and is really keen on the interest and support she is receiving.” 

Do you have a vision over the next year or two based on what to do next when you meet the £20,000 goal?  

Bunty cannot be fitted for a new leg for three months or more and her first fitting will be at St Georges Hospital in Roehamptonthe best Prosthetic Hospital in the country. They are great! Her first fitting will be for an NHS leg but the leg we want to be able to get for her is an activity leg which has many more capabilities. Bunty is very active and loves dancing, if there was an Olympic event for hopping, she’d win it! 

For those who may not have regular access to the internet, what would be the best way to donate towards Bunty’s fundraiser? 

I’m always up for a telephone call07947934801.” 

Finally, as an extremely loving and caring father what makes you most proud of your Bunty?  

I love and am extremely proud of the willpower she possessesher strength against great adversity and the way she smiles her way through it all.”  


To donate towards an exceptional new leg for Bunty, visit the GoFundMe page.

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