A MOTHER is raising money to name and sponsor a medical dog in memory of her son.

Max Warr, lived in Warborough near Wallingford and died age 13 from complications following heart surgery that his mother Sarah Kilby said, ‘should have given him a new lease of life’.

Ms Kilby said: “He died just as the pandemic was starting to take effect in the UK and lockdown happened a week later. It was a very difficult time for us.”

Ms Kilby explained Max’s father died in 2008 and she is a single mother with one other son Jamie, Max’s younger brother.

She added: “Lockdown meant we were isolated from the usual emotional support although my local friends did their best under difficult circumstances.

“Max was a smart, lively, cheeky young lad with his whole life ahead of him. Our family was not able to grieve for him in the usual way.”

Wanting to do something significant to honour Max, Ms Kilby decided the best way was to raise funds for a charity that involved both dogs and humans. Ms Kilby loves dogs and works with them every day and said that Max always seemed to have an affinity with her ‘doggy guests’.

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The family decided the best charity to honour Max was Medical Detection Dogs. Ms Kilby explained that a dog’s sense of smell can help detect various medical conditions and the charity Medical Detection Dogs not only trains dogs to be companions to help individuals but also helps to further research into bio detection.

The medical detection dogs are now being successfully trained to detect Covid-19.

A crowdfunding page has now been set up to raise money to name a medical detection dog after Max and raise awareness of the charity.

The target has been set at £10,000 with more than £7,000 already raised and £5,000 is needed to name a puppy.

Max’s friends and family have been working hard to raise money for the charity.

Max’s school in Wallingford kicked off the fundraising last year making masks and visors in the DT department.

Ms Kilby made her own cards and held a cake and card sale.

Max’s aunt and uncle and their dog Dyce will be running a six-peak challenge in Somerset and his Granddad will be busking with his singing group.

Ms Kilby said: “It costs around £30k to train up a detection dog to be effective in this work so any significant contribution we can eventually make to the charity will be of great benefit.

“Max would be so chuffed to have a lifesaving dog named after him.”

Donations can be made via: justgiving.com/crowdfunding/inmemoryofmaxwarr

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