Top dad Gary has his head in the game.
Byline: Toni Guillot Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
THE dad of a Middlesbrough tot with a misshapen skull is raising awareness of the condition by wearing a special helmet for a month.
Five-month-old Alfie Hamilton has been diagnosed with severe plagiocephaly and brachycephaly - often called "flathead syndrome" - which can lead to permanent disfigurement.
Fortunately Alfie has been wearing his helmet, made by Technology in Motion, for three weeks and his family is already able to see a difference.
The helmets are PS1,950 and Alfie's mum and dad, Michelle, 28, and Gary, 36, are aiming to raise awareness and PS5,000 to help other families in the same situation through The Alfie Fund.
Gary, a business development manager for Middlesbrough Council's sports and leisure service, is hoping people donate to the cause once they have sight of him in his own helmet.
Gary, of Town Farm, Middlesbrough, said: "The helmet will be branded with the condition Alfie suffers from and I will be expected to wear the helmet from the moment I get up on the morning to when I go to bed at night.
"This means I will be wearing the helmet for day-to-day activities, work and for leisure. I have a sporting helmet similar to the one worn by the Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech for when I am doing any sport or fitness.
"Also, there will be a spare helmet which sporting celebs and anybody who wants to support the charity can wear to help raise awareness. I will be taking on challenges and meeting some of the sporting celebs who are supporting the charity. If anyone else wants to get involved, I would be happy for them to take on the challenge with me, even for just a few hours."
The Alfie Fund has already received the support of some of Teesside's biggest sporting names, including former Boro players Stewart Downing, Craig Hignett and Gary Pallister and 60m world record holding sprinter Richard Kilty, who have given their backing.
Helmet treatment, as it is known, is not funded by the NHS as it is regarded as cosmetic and it is felt there is not yet enough evidence to support its benefits, despite flathead syndrome being a recognised condition.
Only 1% of babies fall into the severe category like Alfie, who wears the helmet for 23 hours a day.
To donate visit https://crowdfund-|ing.justgiving.com/gary-hamilton-1
Michelle and Gary Hamilton with son Alfie who has flathead syndrome, prompting Gary, |joined by Richard Kilty, right, to don a helmet to raise cash 230615HELMET_06 IAN MCINTYRE