Thursday, 21 September 2017.

Thousands raised to help baby Grace

11 September, 2017

Aylesham residents have rallied around during the past month to donate or pledge nearly £3,000 in aid of a local family whose small baby is critically ill.

Ricky Williamson, a coach at Aylesham Welfare & Leisure Centre, and his partner Maria had daughter Grace in June. Sadly, she has spent much of her life in London’s Evelina Children’s Hospital, part of St Thomas’ Hospital, on life support after initially contracting a minor cough which led to further infections. Too young to be immunised, her condition worsened rapidly and she has needed a number of blood transfusions along with specialist care since. At the moment, it’s not known when Grace will be well enough to come home.

On Sunday 10 September, Carl Robson and Sean Laidlaw, who run the Beyond Limits fitness business, cycled 75 miles from Aylesham to the Evelina Hospital in London where they handed over a total of £2,800 – way past the original target of £1,000 – after a gruelling nine hour ride.

They set off from the welfare and leisure centre and were given a rousing send off by many supporters who then enjoyed a sponsored danceathon by KCs Dancers, a cake sale, a raffle and a bouncy castle, all boosting  funds further.

Carl and Sean, although both in good physical shape, had never cycled any distance before. They managed to ride through several pain barriers on the way there, not least climbing steep hills in west Kent!

They said: “Grace’s amazing parents refuse to leave her side, which means they need some help to support their family – they have three other children to care for – during this fight for their baby’s life.

“We have been asking the community to help us out in any way it can and the response has been nothing short of terrific. Of the money we handed over at the hospital, £300 had been raised by Roses Tea Room & Thrift shop and £523 from the fundraiser. It’s a fantastic total and a big thank you to all.”

If you would like to donate directly then please follow this link https://www.gofundme.com/75-mile-ride-for-grace