by MARY MAGEE
A LOCAL family has raised over £4,000 for the Children's Heartbeat Trust as a thank you for the support they and their young son have received.
Stephen McCutcheon and Lisa McMahon from Causeway End Meadows raised £4,039.75 by encouraging friends and family to participate in the Lisburn Fun Run, 10k and Half Marathon, and organising a charity night in Derriaghy Cricket Club.
The motivation behind was their son Riley McCutcheon (2) who was born with a serious heart defect and received treatment in Clark Clinic at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.
Riley was born with Tetralogy of Fallot - a rare, complex heart defect that occurs in about 5 out of every 10,000 babies.
He was just six-months-old when he was sick and started to show signs of a heart complaint. His parents were told open heart surgery was the only option and without it he would not survive. He underwent the surgery in November at for Sick Children.He has since been in and out of the Clark Clinic and his family have been told that further surgery will still be required in the next few years and again when he is an adult.
Stephen and Lisa remained by his side while he was recovering from
surgery, staying in
accommodation provided by Heartbeat which also offers family counselling and sponsors equipment at the hospital. Thankful for the help the family received, Stephen (26) who runs Aurora Signs decided to raise funds, asking family and friends for support.
Stephen had been a keen runner when he was younger and decided to get his trainers back on to take part in last year's Half Marathon. He also persuaded 14 others to do the 10k and 16 six-months-old.
A charity night at Derriaghy Cricket Club in September was also organised where they had a magician, and a ballot.
Gillian Knox (Play Specialist with Clark Clinic) receives the fundraising on behalf of the Children's Heartbeat Trust from Lisa, Riley and Stephen.
"Some of my customers came in with donations and my father Colin, who is a maintenance manager at Wallace High, also received donations from some of his clients," said Stephen.
"The children from Wallace High organised a sponsored day and raised some money which was a great help."
Overall £4,000 was raised and the cheque was handed to Heartbeat in January. It is hoped it will go towards a much needed MRi scan at the children's hospital.
Stephen, Lisa and Riley would like to thank everyone who helped, sponsored and supported them in their fundraising efforts. "We were so delighted at the amount that was raised," said Stephen. "I plan to do the Half Marathon every year to raise money for Heartbeat."
Sarah Quinlan, Executive-Officer with Children's Heartbeat Trust said: "We. are very thankful to Stephen and Lisa for raising these essential funds. This will help us continue to provide support for parents and families of children with heart disease in Northern Ireland.
"Over 200 children each year are born with heart disease in Northern
Ireland and one third
of these children will require further investigation and even surgery. This support will make a very real difference to the lives of these families and children."
If you would like to find out more about Children's Heartbeat Trust and how you can get involved please contact 07584 164 815; email email@example.com or visit the website at www.childrensheartbeattrust.org