THOUSANDS of children worldwide owe their lives to the dedicated work of Crewe charity CLIMB.
For 25 years it has worked to raise cash for the treatment of children with rare illnesses and provide a support network for them and their families.
All the children have one thing in common - a rare genetically inherited metabolic disease which limits their life expectancy.
The charity has worked tirelessly from its small base in Nantwich Road to raise the profile of these conditions and raise funds for research into cures.
Now it needs YOUR help. Chronicle readers are asked to back a £125,000 appeal to help care for vast numbers of children in this country and others worldwide.
The 5X5 Appeal marks 25 years of CLIMB work and the money will fund five key targets.
The generosity of South Cheshire people has been overwhelming in previous years.
Remember the £1 Mighty Magnet appeal for a MRI scanner at Leighton Hospital and the £500,000 appeal for the hospital's Diabetes Treatment Centre.
And last year you helped hit a £485,000 target for the Macmillan Angels Appeal to fund additional cancer nursing specialists at the hospital.
Now it is over to you again to don your fundraising caps and do what you can for CLIMB.
Over the next few months we will be asking kind-hearted readers to get behind the campaign by staging fundraising events - they can be as madcap as you like and we will help by publicising your efforts.
CLIMB workers have organised a host of events kicking off in April with a fundraising photographic competition, a Hollyoaks cast v Nantwich Town FC football match, a fashion show with Crewe Alex play-ers taking to the stage as models, and a London to Paris bike ride.
Companies already behind the appeal are Ableworld of Crewe and Nantwich, Air Products and the Printing House of Crewe. South Cheshire Chamber is also on board and more sponsorship of this nature is sought.
Charity founder Lesley Greene said: 'We are very proud of our achievements but there are still so many children out there needing our help.
'Although we help children worldwide, about 85% of them live in the UK. We rely mainly on fundraisers and donations from families.
'Sometimes we receive the most touching letters, like one this morning containing £10 sent on a child's birthday.
'We hope this appeal will help us realise a number of objectives, the main one being to fund further research into life-threatening illnesses, find treatment for these children and support the parents who are in despair not knowing which way to turn for help.' For information on CLIMB, or to access its services, call 0870 770 0325 or visit www.climb.org.uk