“We wanted to do a walk to fund an adapted bike for our Lois and raise money for Forget Me Not. It just snowballed from there!”
When people come together to raise money for our children, amazing things happen. People go further than they ever thought possible, fantastic friendships are formed, memories are made that will last a lifetime and fundraising targets are smashed to smithereens!
Like when the Huntingdon family from Wakefield wanted to buy a new wheelchair transporter bike for 19 year old Lois. Lois has an undiagnosed neuromuscular disorder which means she has no mobility or speech and suffers from a host of other conditions, including epilepsy, osteoporosis and hyperacusis. The bike means she can join her family on bike rides – something she loves but had been missing out on since outgrowing her old bike.
But these specially adapted bikes are expensive. So, with the help of Redwood Events and other sponsors, the family organised ‘The Lois Lanes’, a 48 hour coast to coast sponsored walk in a bid to raise £7,000 to fund the bike and a further £8,000 for Forget Me Not, which has supported the family for many years.
The 182 mile walk took place over a chilly weekend in early April this year. Divided in 41 stages of around 4 miles each, the walk was done in relay by two core teams, one covering the distance from Hull to Wakefield, the other from Wakefield to Liverpool, taking in both Russell House and Grace’s Place on the way. If that wasn’t challenging enough, Lois’ mum Claire and sister Natalie set themselves the gruelling (and sleep-depriving) trial of walking the first mile of every one of those 41 stages!
There were also several walks within the walk – like Lois’ sister Erin and her schoolfriends, aka ‘Erin’s Crew’, who walked 10 miles from Wakefield to Russell House. And walks on the side, like the Tynemouth Trekkers who walked 5 miles along Tynemouth beach near Newcastle. And Lois and dad John joined the walk at points along the way.
Masses of people joined the team for the initial stage which took them across the Humber Bridge. And there were plenty of people on hand to cheer them across the finish line at Pier Head in Liverpool. Overall, John believes more than 150 walkers took part.
And when the proceeds from all the sponsorship, bucket collections and donations were collected and counted, this extraordinary walk had raised a jaw-dropping £23,228.43!
So, not only were this incredible and inspiring family able to get Lois her longed-for bike, they also donated £15,838.43 to Forget Me Not – almost double their original target! A feat they celebrated recently with a sapphire block in our Celebration Wall!