Do you get deeply moved by stories of brave, sick children?
And then are you moved to help them in some way?
Today I am going to share the incredible and moving story of Jessica, also known as Jess.
You will then understand and appreciate exactly why I am taking part in the London Marathon.
On Sunday 13th April 2014, I’ll be lining up with around 36,000 other runners and each one of us will be raising awareness and sponsorship for their chosen cause.
I have chosen Well-Child, a charity that helps look after sick children like Jess.
Some friends have been asking me why I am so passionate about WellChild and why I am taking part in the London Marathon for them once again.
Well, this is my way of contributing and making a difference to children. And you too can do your bit by sponsoring me.
Your contribution will be helping Jess and other brave children like her.
(I have been given permission by Jess’s family and WellChild to share her moving story).
Here is Jess’s story:-
Four year old Jessica was poorly from birth, but it was not until she was six months old that doctors diagnosed Jeunes Syndrome – a condition so rare it affects just one in every 130,000 children.
The condition can cause a host of problems including a very small rib cage which means that the lungs cannot develop properly.
From when she was born, her mum and dad Ruth and Edward were caught up in a roller coaster ride of many hospital admissions and treatments to deal with their tiny baby’s problems.
Jessica was on oxygen 24 hours a day and fed through a tube for almost a year.
Eventually Jessica was able to have pioneering chest surgery – she was one of the first children in the UK to undergo the operation at Great Ormond Street Hospital and since then her condition has improved.
Jessica is now able to live at home with the family in Oxfordshire and one of the things which has made that possible is the help of WellChild Nurse Jane Alvey who is based in Oxford.
Jane has been able to organise Jessica’s care, help with her treatment and make sure the family have everything they need, as well as being on hand to offer advice and support.
When Jessica first came home, Jane visited every week to check that Ruth was happy – she still visits the family regularly and is always on the end of the phone when the family needs her.
Jessica’s health has improved enough that she can attend school three mornings a week and Jane has been to the school to talk to the staff about Jessica’s condition.
Nobody knows what the long term prognosis will be for Jessica but the family is very grateful to have her at home with them and they have decided not to worry about what might happen in the future, but instead to enjoy what they have now.
Jessica’s mum Ruth said: “Having WellChild Nurse Jane in our lives has made a huge difference to our family. We know that we can phone her at any time and she will always offer support and reassurance. Jess looks forward to her visits and takes a real interest in what is happening.”
“As a result of Jane’s dedicated care and attention, we believe that when Jess is admitted into hospital our stays are not as long because Jane is able to monitor Jess’s progress at home. Jane has become an important part of our family and we would be lost without her.”
So there you are – my participation in the London Marathon and your sponsorship will help provide more nursing support for children like Jess.
My target is to raise at least £1,500 for WellChild. Please help me get there.
If just 100 readers sponsor me for at least £10 each, I’ll reach my target easily.
Of course, you can sponsor me for more than £10 each:-).
Thanks everyone for your generosity and kindness.