A six-year-old schoolboy is about to follow in his mother’s fundraising footsteps when he takes a sponsored walk to benefit a children’s hospital.
Oakley Constable is scheduled to walk 3 miles on Tuesday, October 26 to raise money for the children’s unit, Holly Ward, at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, which has provided incredible care to her little sister Olivia.
Her walk follows the successful fundraising effort of her mother, Clarissa Constable. She embarked on a 26-mile marathon hike from March to Huntingdon with her stepmother Sadie Richardson and her sister-in-law Chloe Richardson by her side on October 9, the trio totaling over 54,000 steps on the challenge.
Three-year-old Olivia suffers from a rare genetic condition called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, which mainly causes non-cancerous tumors around her body, including major organs.
A side effect of this is Olivia, who was diagnosed with the disease at the age of nine months, suffers from severe epilepsy and has numerous seizures a day caused by tumors in her head.
The situation has resulted in many hospital stays and Clarissa describes Holly Ward as a “home away from home” for the excellent care they provide to Olivia.
One of her most recent stays was after surgery to try to help control Olivia’s seizures.
She had a vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) installed. An VNS is a device used to treat seizures when anti-epileptic drugs are not working and surgery is not possible.
VNS is a pacemaker-like generator implanted in the chest wall and programmed by the doctor to stimulate the vagus nerve in the neck, which in turn helps stop seizures.
Oakley, a student at Westwood Elementary School, helps care for Olivia and her caring nature has earned her a recent school award.
Now he wants to emulate his mother and take a sponsored walk to raise funds for the hospital.
Clarissa and her family have raised almost £ 3,000 through their efforts with the set of cash to spend on toys, strollers and indoor strollers as well as special seating.
The three women were overwhelmed by the support they received including from friends who secretly organized themselves to be at the finish line when they arrived at the hospital.
Clarissa, who gave up her job as a real estate agent to become a stay-at-home mom to take care of Olivia and now runs an online body shop business, said she has no idea her friends and family would meet her at the finish line.
She said: “I saw them and just cried. They made posters for us, a finish line and bought us chocolate – they had Olivia’s Journey t-shirts too!
“Then I came home with flowers, Nosecco and support cards from amazing friends.
“Now Oakley wants to do their part to help and are determined to walk 5 miles and hope to raise £ 100 for the hospital.
“He has his own Justgiving page – the Oakley page – where people can donate.”
Clarissa added: “Holly Ward is so fantastic nothing is ever too hard and they really provide such great care for Olivia and for us. They really treat us like family they are amazing.
“Hinchingbrooke is the reason we still have Olivia, without them who knows what might happen, so it’s wonderful to be able to say thank you.”
Clarissa concluded: “It really hurts after I finish the walk, but it’s nothing compared to what Olivia goes through every day, but nothing gets her down, she takes it all in her stride.”
Follow Olivia’s journey on Facebook. “