A fed up mum has set up a new national charity to try and reduce the stigma around children who need to use feeding tubes in public.
When Grace Pearson, now three, was born with a rare feeding condition and allergies that meant she needed to be fed through a tube, mum, Rachel Pearson, thought taking her daughter out in public would be the least of her problems.
But after years of people staring, rude comments and local establishments refusing to let her feed Grace on their premises due to fears it might offend their other customers, Rachel, of West Street in Thorne, says she wants to make a stand.
And now, the mum of two has now set up the Go Wild 4 Feeding Tube Support charity in a bid to create ‘more awareness of feeding tube children’.
The 28-year-old says she also wants to use the charity to create a support network for parents and to raise money for a holiday home for the families of feeding tube families.
She added: “There aren’t any other charities in the UK for families of feeding tube children, so thought I would set this one up and I want to show other parents out there, that there’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
“When people see my daughter, they don’t see past her feeding tube.”
“If she goes into a play area the other parents will move their children away, and tell them not to go near her.”
“Other mums have told me that they’ve experienced the same thing.”
“So hopefully the more awareness we can create, the more normal seeing feeding tube children in public will become.”
Rachel says the charity is in its early stages, and will welcome help from anyone who wants to get involved.
The charity will hold its first fundraiser at the Thorne Summer Festival on July 26, when a bikeathon team will cycle the equivalent distance from Lands End to raise money for Go Wild 4 Feeding Tube Support.
For more information on the charity please visit http://feedingtubesupport.com