A FUNDRAISING campaign to send a seriously-ill baby girl to America for a life-changing operation is gathering pace after almost £8,000 was raised through various events.

The parents of one-year-old cerebral palsy-sufferer Nicole Vendettuoli, of Oakworth, set themselves a target of £70,000 - and have heaped praise on people who have helped with fundraising so far.

They launched Nicole's Wish To Walk earlier this year and gained the support of Bradford pop star Gareth Gates, who admitted that the tot's plight pulled at his heartstrings.

Now, things will step up a notch on Saturday(AUG2) when brave people can have a go at a fire walk as part of a bumper fun day in Keighley.

Nicole's mum Candice said: "We are amazed by how much everyone wants to get involved.

"The fire walk is the first event that we have organised and it has received a lot of interest, so I think it is going to be a great day. Hopefully it will give us a big boost."

Candice, who lives with husband Tom and Nicole at their home on Harewood Crescent, said 20 people had so far signed up for the fire walk.

"It is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," said Candice. "If you have the courage to take part the seminar begins at 6.30pm and the walk is at 8pm. You have to be here for the seminar so please arrive early."

It costs £50 per person to do the fire walk, or it's free if you can raise £100 in sponsorship.

The walk forms part of a fun day at The Three Horses, in Fell Lane, that gets underway at 3pm. There will be a bouncy castle, cake and bun stall, children’s mini disco, raffle, fun competitions and a live band.

Raffle prizes include a signed Leeds Rhinos short, jewellery worth £150, a three-course meal at The Old Registry in Haworth, a manicure, a John Lewis voucher and toiletries, among other things.

Little Nicole was born three months premature and had a brain haemorrhage, which led to her cerebral palsy. Her left arm and both her legs are stiff, making sitting, crawling and walking impossible.

Candice said: "The assessment for Nicole will not be until she is two, which is October and this will take time. Obviously this is getting close but we have some great events coming up and the fundraising seems to be gaining momentum so I believe we will hit our target on time."

Last weekend, a Battle of the Supermarkets football tournament between Asda, Morrisons, Co-op and Tesco raised £631 for Nicole.

Morrisons - captained by Nicole's uncle Joshua Foy - were victorious, with Candice adding: "It was a fantastic day and everyone enjoyed themselves."

For more information on the fire walk, or to get raffle tickets, speak to a member of staff at The Three Horses or visit the Nicole’s Wish To Walk Facebook page.