Walsall mum thanks police fundraisers and a national charity for Disney World holiday
A Walsall mum has made a 70 mile round trip to Stoke-on-Trent to personally thank a team of police fundraisers, and the national charity Caudwell Children, for helping to fund a once-in-a-lifetime holiday to Disney World, for her son.
Four-year-old Bowie Rix, has Bohring-opitz syndrome, a rare genetic disorder that has left him unable to walk or communicate.
The challenging nature of his condition prompted his mum, Bekki, to apply for a place on Caudwell Children’s annual Destination Dreams holiday to Disney World, in Florida.
Caudwell Children provides practical and emotional support to disabled children and their families.
The charity, founded by John Caudwell, the Birmingham born entrepreneur and philanthropist, created Destination Dreams in 2007 to give children with life threatening illnesses the opportunity to experience a ‘Dream’ family holiday.
On Saturday 17th September, 2016, a team of 19 police officers from Staffordshire Police completed a gruelling 500 mile charity cycling challenge, across Europe, to raise funds for the trip.
When Bekki learnt of their pedal pumping efforts she says that she felt compelled to attend the homecoming.
As she explained: “Bowie needs help with practically everything so it can be extremely difficult. He has frequent hospital visits and he also has a vulnerable immune system, so we’ve never been able to experience a family holiday.
“When we were offered a place on Destination Dreams we were overjoyed and the thought that these police officers have put their bodies on the line to help pay for us to get on that plane to Florida, is simply overwhelming. That’s why I was so determined to thank them and the charity in person.”
When she made it to the finishing line, at the Moathouse Hotel, in Stoke-on-Trent, along with Bowie and his 13-year-old sister Ellie, Bekki was delighted to be introduced to the ‘Bobbies on Bikes 4 Kids’ team and Mr Caudwell , who had joined them on the final leg of their challenge.
“It was fantastic to see them come over the line and to be able to join in with the enthusiastic welcome that they received,” said Bekki. “But to then get the opportunity to personally thank them before their medal ceremony was amazing.
“However, I was absolutely stunned when one of the officers grabbed my hand and took me and my son up to John, who was presenting the medals, so that Bowie could receive a medal on his behalf. It was so touching. He’d just completed an epic 500 mile cycling challenge for us and yet he just wanted to give more.”
Bowie loved the medal so much, said Bekki, that the officer gave it to him to take home.
Trudi Beswick, Chief Executive of Caudwell Children, is urging the community to get behind the charity’s appeal for donations towards the cost of the holiday. She said: “Even if families did have the confidence to try holidaying overseas they simply wouldn’t be able to afford the medical assistance that they need.
“To overcome any worries or financial burdens Destination Dreams provides a dedicated team of paediatric doctors and paramedics who are available 24/7.
“It’s this level of care, along with over 40 volunteers who support the families around the theme parks, that gives the families the chance to create happy holiday memories, often for the first time. So I would urge the public to support our cause.”
To date over 200 families have enjoyed the Destination Dreams holiday. Bosses at the charity say that it needs more funds to ensure that other children, like Bowie, can continue to enjoy the experience.
You can donate to Caudwell Children through the ‘Bobbbies on Bikes 4 Kids’ Just Giving page here.