THE kindness of strangers will help take some of the load off a family that faces a daily struggle in caring for a disabled boy.
Construction worker Ciaron Ayres has paid tribute to a small group of social drinkers from Booval's Racehorse Hotel, who used money pooled together from raffles to help pay for his son's medical treatment.
Racehorse Leisure Club members Brendan Hughes and Mark Wolfsbauer handed over $3000 to the Ayres family recently.
Six-year-old Zenith Ayres was born with Down syndrome and Perthes' disease, a rare combination which has resulted in the youngster battling both physically and mentally.
Mr Ayres said his son required regular physiotherapy and speech therapy, which was expensive.
"Perthes' disease inhibits blood flow to the hip joint - it got so bad that Zenith could hardly walk," he said.
"He had major surgery last year where they broke his upper leg and put plates and screws in it to try to regenerate the blood flow."
The family has only been able to afford one session of speech therapy per month up to now, but will use the donation to increase the lessons to once a week for the next few months.
"The day he calls me dad will be one of the best of my life - I've been waiting six years to hear it,' Mr Ayres said.
Racehorse Leisure Club member Brendan Hughes said the money was raised through meat tray raffles held every Saturday afternoon since last September.
"The group started out as a bit of a joke, but then a few of the boys started to take it more seriously," he said.
"We're really just a bunch of riff raff who decided to do something better with our time than sit around drinking and telling stories."
Mr Ayres paid tribute to the Racehorse Hotel group.
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