Local lady Kelly Marks has found a fantastic way both to celebrate the life of her son Charlie, who would have turned 18 this year, and to fundraise for Stick ‘n’ Step, the cerebral palsy charity that supported Charlie and their family during his short life.
Kelly, who lives in Cheshire and has worked as Community Fundraiser for Stick ‘n’ Step in Runcorn since 2017, has set up a virtual ‘birthday table’ with Visufund. Her son Charlie was born 18 years ago with cerebral palsy, a condition about which Kelly knew nothing at the time. During one of Charlie’s many stays in hospital, someone told her about Stick ‘n’ Step and its programme of conductive education, which helps support, enable and encourage individual goals to be met for children with cerebral palsy. Kelly recalls her first visit to Stick ‘n’ Step’s only centre at the time, which was in Wallasey. She says,
“I was totally blown away with the welcome we received as a family and how it was clear I was not the only one having to deal with the challenges that having a child with cerebral palsy can bring. I was able to chat to other parents and supportive staff, who knew some of the challenges and were able to offer advice and support. The interaction with the staff was amazing and the connection they had with the children meant so much.”
Kelly attended Stick ‘n’ Step regularly with Charlie for two years. Over the course of that time Charlie reached goals that Kelly had been told she would never see. He became able to sit up, gain control of his head, take his first few steps with support and start to learn how to hold on and grasp things, smiling and making happy noises all the while. Sadly, after becoming very unwell, Charlie passed away the day before his third birthday. Kelly continues,
“This year my boy would have turned 18 years old. I decided to create a Visufund birthday table to celebrate his life and the impact he had on so many people and for all those who had the pleasure of knowing him to remember him and send their birthday wishes. The birthday table allows people to donate to Stick ‘n’ Step and leave a very personal birthday message to Charlie. I have found it heart-warming to read all the lovely messages and I feel this has been a very special way to remember Charlie on this milestone birthday.
“The short time we spent together at Stick ‘n’ Step made such a difference to our family all those years ago. Today, I have the pleasure of being community fundraiser for this amazing charity and I can help to raise essential funds to support many other children and families. We currently offer this support to 104 children and their families across the region.”
To donate to Charlie’s birthday table and help raise funds for Stick ‘n’ Step, click here.
Stick ‘n’ Step offers support services to children with cerebral palsy and their families. The charity provides the children with totally free of charge conductive education sessions, allowing them to gain the skills they need to live more independent lives. Over 100 children from across the region usually attend these sessions weekly or twice weekly at the charity’s Wallasey and Runcorn centres.