IT’S been a difficult year for Saz Bailey, but she’s looking forward to 2019 with optimism, not just for herself, but also her son Max.

In 2016, the Wilmslow mum-of-two embarked upon an intensive fundraising campaign to raise the money needed to send Max, now 11, to the USA for spine-correcting treatment every three months.

Max lives with scoliosis, a progressive condition where the spine twists and curves to the side. If allowed to continue it could crush his internal organs and become seriously life threatening.

Saz organised events such as the Wizard Walk and took part in Tough Mudder, raising thousands of pounds for Max’s treatment. But last October, she was diagnosed with Cushings syndrome – a condition linked to

stress – and had to take a step back from her fundraising efforts.

The condition left her feeling constantly exhausted and caused her to gain weight.

She said: “I didn’t just get tired, I was exhausted all the time. In 12 months, I put on about four stone, people didn’t recognise me.”

Following an operation last December to remove a tumour on her pituitary gland, Saz spent much of 2018 recovering from her operation.

She said: “It has been a difficult year as I have had to step away from a lot of the big fundraising events I was organising while I recovered. But I’ve been focussing on a way that I can secure our future so

that we can support Max’s ongoing treatment in America and hopefully help others while I’m doing so.”

2018 was also a big year for Max who made the transition from primary to secondary school.Saz said: “We didn’t quite know how that would go. It was a big deal, it meant leaving behind teachers he’s been with for years. We were worried, but he’s gone to Wilmslow High School with all of his friends,

and he’s really happy there – he’s thriving.

“He went on his first residential in October, and he’s just done his Christmas show, which he really loved. I’m very proud of him.”

Max is currently going through a growth spurt which can be dangerous for him and is another why Saz is determined to build a business that will allow her to secure his future treatment.

She’s not only launched a digital marketing business at

Saz aimed at helping people make money from their passions, but she is also in the process of setting up a charity to help others with scoliosis.

She explained: “My is to maintain a commitment to Max’s treatment beyond fundraising – it’s critical that we secure enough money to pay for his treatment ourselves, which is why I have launched my business.

“But also, I want to establish the charity so that it becomes about more than Max. There aren’t many options for treatment in the UK and what is available isn’t great. That’s why we decided to go to America

where there is more treatment available. We’ve learned a lot over the years and I want to be able to help support other families in our situation.”

Despite still suffering with pain as a result of her own condition, Saz is a determined fighter – she’s already signed up to take part in next year’s Tough Mudder – and wants to send a message of hope to other people who are struggling.

She said: “It has been tough, there’s been a lot to deal with no doubt, but you have to remain positive. If I can do this this then you can too.”