From Disney World to Kings Heath park

Family fun walk will pay back mothers debt of gratitude to disabled charity.

The mother of a disabled boy from Sheldon, in Birmingham, is urging the public to follow in her footsteps to help raise the funds needed to send disabled children on a dream trip to Disney World, in Florida.

Debbie Foster, aged 46, along with her 13-year-old son, Jake, who has Leigh’s disease, will be leading from the front when they take part in the inaugural Destination Dreams 2km Fundraising Walk around Kings Heath Park, Birmingham, B14 7TQ, at 11am on Saturday 1st August.

The walk, which will see participants dressed as their favourite superhero or Disney character, will raise much needed funds for Caudwell Children, the national charity that provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.

Funds from the event will support the charity’s annual Destination Dreams holiday to Florida, which gives children with life threatening conditions the chance of a once-in-a-lifetime holiday with their families.

Debbie successfully applied for the holiday in 2013 and says that that she has been desperate to pay back her debt of gratitude to the charity ever since. As she explained: “Leigh’s disease is a rare condition that affects the central nervous system. It has left Jake with no mobility and he’s susceptible to seizures.

“He also has epilepsy, and the combination makes it extremely difficult for the family to travel long distances. But Jake just loves Disney and it had been our dream to take him to Florida. Unfortunately, we couldn’t afford the 24 hour medical care necessary to undertake such a trip. But that’s where Caudwell Children stepped in.

“We couldn’t believe it when they offered us a place on Destination Dreams in 2013. The charity not only helped to fund the holiday, they also provided the 24 hour medical support that we so desperately needed. So now it’s payback time!”

The family enjoyed Destination Dreams so much that Debbie, now wants to give other disabled children the chance to meet their Disney heroes in Florida. She said: “The holiday was unforgettable! We had accommodation at a unique resort, specially adapted for children who are seriously ill or disabled. We also had a team of volunteers that gave us the extra pair of hands needed to allow us to enjoy ourselves. I desperately want other families to benefit as we did!”

Debbie is urging people to join her on the walk and says it will be a great way to raise much needed funds in support of the holiday. As she explained: “The 2km walk will be such fun and it’s a great way of exercising and raising cash. Jake is really looking forward to seeing participants dressed up in their magical Disney costumes.

“He particularly wants to see villains, like Captain Hook, as they get up to the things that he would like to do! But he’ll also be keeping an eye out for Donald and Mickey, as he also loves their characters.’

The walk is suitable for all ages and is accessible for wheelchairs, buggies and dogs. Child places are available for £6, which includes one free adult place.

Sam Irwin, Events Coordinator at Caudwell Children, is keen to encourage as many children as possible to take part in the walk. She said: “Destination Dreams is all about disabled children and their families enjoying themselves together and we want this event to reflect that. Adults are more than welcome to participate without a child, at £6 per person. However, it would be great if grandparents, parents, aunties and uncles could encourage children to participate in the walk and then support their entry by sponsoring their efforts.”

To book a place contact the Caudwell Children Events Team on 01782 600438.