A father whose sons suffer from a serious blood disorder prepares for a grueling challenge to give other children with serious illnesses the vacation of a lifetime.
Steven Read from Rustington sets out from Land’s End for John O’Groats on Saturday (10th September) in nine days Fundraising Challenge for Dreamflight to enable more children to have the same dream vacation enjoyed by his two sons.
Sam, 25, and Jack, 15, both have severe hemophilia A, which prevents their blood from clotting.
Both enjoyed a holiday with Dreamflight, a UK charity that takes children with a serious illness or disability on holiday to Orlando after being nominated by Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Steven’s youngest son Jack enjoyed the experience in 2019, just before the pandemic.
From being greeted at Heathrow by Star Wars and Harry Potter characters to the fast lane to the Orlando rides, he was treated to a ‘red carpet’ experience.
Due to the health needs of the children, they will be cared for by medical attendants during the trip.
Steven, Trainee Program Manager at UK Power Networks said: “I want to give back because it was a fantastic opportunity for Sam and Jack and I want other children to benefit from the same experience.
“All of the children on the journey have a serious illness or disability and that gives them something to look forward to and lifelong memories. They wouldn’t normally get the opportunity to do something really special that can make their life that little bit happier and they’re having a fabulous time.
“The guys appreciate why I’m doing this, but they think I’m a little crazy when I’m on a bike for more than six hours a day for nine days.
“It’s a bit crazy, but it’s been on my bucket list for years, I’ve always wanted to do this. It’s going to be a fun challenge and I’m inspired by athletes with disabilities overcoming their challenges and achieving great results.”
Colleagues from UK Power Networks in Three Bridges are helping Steven meet his fundraising goal of £1,000 towards the £4,500 cost of a child’s holiday.
The company is also supporting the challenge through its volunteer scheme, which gives employees two paid days to serve their communities and gives employees up to £100 towards their fundraising efforts.
Lisa Bishop, Fundraising and Communications Manager at Dreamflight, said: “Dreamflight never expects the families who benefit from our trips to fundraise for us, but it’s very special when they do.
“We’re a very small charity – with just a small office – and have to raise over £1million every year.
“We are extremely grateful to Steven, UK Power Networks and his colleagues for supporting this fabulous challenge. Good luck Stefan.”
https://www.theargus.co.uk/news/20900160.rustington-man-cycle-lands-end-john-ogroats/?ref=rss Rustington man cycling from Land’s End to John O’Groats