“As a parent of a child with Transverse Myelitis, I wanted to give something back to the Brain and Spine Foundation,” says Lee Beetham, Commercial Director at Yorkshire’s leading fabricator Kingfisher Windows. “It was the charity’s website we first turned to so I’m in training for the London Marathon to raise money and awareness to help other parents who are faced with something similar.
“On 9 August 2016, our lives were turned completely upside-down when our previously healthy two-year old son Theo was admitted into Leeds General Infirmary with difficulty walking and paralysis of his left arm. Three days later having had a diagnosis of Transverse Myelitis, he was completely paralysed and, on a ventilator, fighting for his life.
“After 10 months in hospital, he came home. He is still partially paralysed and requires his ventilator 24hrs a day. Theo is a source of unending inspiration to me. He’s young, still growing and extremely determined. He goes to nursery school and is settled into his new life. He never complains – except about his sister!
“It’s the sense of impotence that you feel as a parent,” Lee continues. “You feel powerless as there’s nothing you can do. This is my chance to do something positive. It’s not just the Brain and Spine Foundation that have given us help. We have received support from many others, and we are very grateful to them all. We’ve had information and emotional support, accommodation for us so we could be near Theo when he was in hospital, as well as specialist equipment.
“I hope to raise a lot of money for the charity and since I set up my Virgin Money page https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/LeeBeetham donations have been coming in to support the Brain and Spine Foundation. It includes £187 from Kingfisher Windows’ Christmas jumper day and raffle.
“I’ve never run more than 13 miles before – and I’ve only done that twice. Both times I did, I couldn’t imagine having to run it all again. This is different, on 22 April 2018 I’ll be running 26 miles because I’m supporting the Brain and Spine Foundation and Theo is my inspiration.”