Friends and family of a young Sheffield heart patient Louis Brocklebank have carried out two special events to celebrate the fifth anniversary of his operation, and raise money for Yorkshire-based national charity Heart Research UK.
A children’s talent show and a sponsored cycle have raised almost £2,500 on behalf of Louis, who was only fourteen-weeks-old when he had his first open heart surgery after being born with a congenital heart defect.
Now aged five, he has been left with various other problems and according to his mum, Amy, 28, spent the early years of his childhood in and out of hospital.
Since his operation five years ago, Amy has held an event every year to raise money for different heart-related charities.
This year, over 30 youngsters took to the stage at the Crookes Sport and Social Club on 17 June with singing, dancing, card tricks and even a reconstruction of The Beatles. Through ticket sales and donations, they raised almost £700 for the charity.
Amy said: “The talent show went really well! A lot of people turned up to support the children and the charity and everyone enjoyed themselves.”
On top of the talent show, Louis’s father, Jonathon Brocklebank, and eight friends cycled from Sheffield to Skegness on July 1 to raise further funds.
He said: “The support has been unbelievable, I didn’t expect to raise so much money. We are really grateful to everyone!
“It was a touch 110 miles but it was really good fun. We enjoyed it that much we are already planning another one.”
The dedicated team was made up of Gareth Evans, who organised the event, as well as dad Jonathan, Adam Reaney, Jack Coyle, Lewis Thorpe, Chris Cooke, Craig Harrison and Andy Wilson.
Four of the men have only recently taken up cycling, while the other half are keen cyclists and cycle as a hobby.
The group originally trained for the ride separately, but started to complete training cycle rides together and enjoyed taking part in the challenge as a team.
Gareth Evans, one of the riders, has been inspired by Louis. He said: “I know Amy and Jon do a lot for Heart Research UK so I wanted to show my support as I have seen the resilience of Louis and the impact that his condition has had on the whole family. It was also a personal challenge.
Amy is thrilled the group organised the cycle ride. She said: “I’m so grateful and humbled for the support Louis receives, and to our family and friends for helping us so much.”
Rachel Brooke, community fundraiser at Heart Research UK, said: “It has been a pleasure to work with Amy, her family and friends in the past. She is so dedicated to giving something back following her son Louis’ heart surgery five years ago. The money she raises during 2016 will be put to good use, helping little hearts locally.”
To mark Louis’s fourth anniversary, Amy held a street party at their home in Sheffield, hosting games, stalls and a bouncy castle on behalf of Heart Research UK. A wonderful £460 was donated from family, friends and new neighbours.
To sponsor the cycling team, people can go to their online JustGiving page Click here