THE BRAVE family of Christopher Nelson, who sadly passed away in 2015, have challenged themselves to a tough New Year’s resolution to help raise money for an Edinburgh charity close to their hearts.
Donna Nelson, Christopher’s mother, alongside his fiancé Steffi, sister Becca and 19 close friends have signed themselves up for this year’s Tough Mudder in an effort to raise much needed funds for the Sick Kids Friends Foundation (SKFF).
In just over a year, Donna, from Eskbank, has raised over £5,500 for SKFF in memory of her son, who tragically died unexpectedly in Amsterdam at the age of 24.
The grief-stricken mum started the appeal by collecting donations at her beloved son’s funeral and, with the help of family and friends, has since arranged a variety of successful fundraising events including cycling 200 miles from Edinburgh to Iona, a 10,000ft skydive, various Gary Barlow tribute acts and bingo nights which have gone on to raise thousands of pounds. Tough Mudder is next on the list.
Donna said: “We want to keep the memory of our beloved son alive and continue to raise money for such a great cause in his name.
“When Christopher was younger, he was constantly in and out of A&E at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children with different sporting injuries, and in some cases he was bed ridden, but he was such an active child he found it difficult to stay in bed.
“SKFF supplied him with a games console which they brought to him so he could play it without having to get up. It made the world of difference not only to him but to us. He spent his first night away from home there and he was so at ease, he even thought he had been staying at a hotel which made us laugh.
“It was reassuring for us as parents to know he felt safe and happy even though he was in pain so we have always been so grateful for the work of SKFF and we’re glad that we’ve been able to give back to them now.”
The money raised is being used to enhance the bed spaces for children in the hospital and provide things such as games and DVDs to keep them entertained during their stay.
Donna added: “When we were informed that SKFF wanted to use the money raised to improve the bed spaces at the new hospital we were delighted.
“We wanted the money to be used for kids who have to stay in hospital overnight or over a period of time, as this was the situation Christopher was in many years ago, so we couldn’t be happier.”
The Sick Kids Friends Foundation exists to transform the experiences of children and young people in hospital so they can be a child first and a patient second. It is contributing over £3million worth of art and therapeutic design enhancements when the Royal Hospital for Sick Children moves to a new, purpose-built home at Little France in Spring 2018 to ensure children continue to feel comfortable and enjoy the time they spend there.
Sue Diamond, Community Fundraising Manager at SKFF, said: “We are so grateful and honoured to be chosen as Christopher’s charity and are delighted with how much support Donna and her team have received over the last year.
“The money raised will have a huge impact on the lives of young patients and their families and make a phenomenal difference during their time at the new hospital.
“Donna is doing an incredibly admirable and amazing thing and we really want to thank her and the whole family for their continued support.”
The Sick Kids Friends Foundation supports and complements the work of the Royal Hospital for Sick Children as well as other children’s healthcare settings across the southeast of Scotland and beyond.
To support Donna and her team in their Tough Mudder, challenge donations can be made at: https://teamskfftough.everydayhero.com/uk/teamnelson
SKFF also have charity places available for Tough Mudder Scotland on 17 June for only £30 for those looking to take part. For more information please visit www.edinburghsickkids.org/events