Aaron Faulkner, from Kirk Sandall, and his family will visit Chessington Zoo for an overnight stay later this year thanks to the donation by Lakeside Village and the Thorne Lions to charity Post Pals, a small charity run solely by volunteers who are dedicated to making seriously ill children and their siblings smile by the sending of cards, letters, little gifts, support and friendship.
Joanne Faulkner, Aaron’s mum said: “We are really pleased to have been given this opportunity to take the family away for an overnight stay. The charity arranges events which give families the opportunity to meet up with other families who may be going through similar difficulties.
“Aaron loves the outdoors, animals and spending time together, it can be very difficult for us to go on trips like this because of his condition. We are really grateful to all of the people who donated money at Lakeside Village to enable us to go on this family trip.”
Aaron was born at 39 weeks weighing 5lb 12oz and was so little he could fit into his dad, Lee’s hand. A test a birth showed that Aaron had a re-arrangement of his chromosomes, he had two much of number 14 chromosome and not enough 18 chromosome. It was such a small amount that doctors were not sure how it would affect Aaron.
Aaron has cerebral palsy and is unable to sit unaided and is wheelchair bound. He had a gastrostomy fitted when he was seven years old and is now tube fed. He suffers badly in the winter months, often ending up in hospital due to colds turning into pneumonia.
“Despite all of his illnesses and trips to hospital Aaron is a very happy boy and he loves to interact with people. Although he cannot speak he can make sounds and you can always tell when he is happy. He has an amazing little brother, Matthew, who is eleven, he loves spending time with him.
“He is also a typical 16-year-old he likes to watch television, especially the music channels and complains when the adverts come on!” added Joanne.
The money raised by Lakeside Village shoppers and the Thorne Lions was donated to Doncaster Royal Infirmary (DRI) to buy equipment for Ward 25 and to Post Pal’s who have used it to pay for Aaron’s trip.
Cheryl Sadler, centre manager for Lakeside Village, said: “It is when you hear stories like Aaron’s that you feel proud to be able to help in some small way. His family spend so much of their time caring for Aaron and looking after him, with very little sleep. Joanne has said that they get great support from DRI, Sheffield Children’s Hospital and Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and we know they are extremely deserving of this family trip away. We hope they have a great time and cannot wait to see the photos when they return. Thanks again to our loyal customers who always support us with great generosity when we are fundraising.”
Auriol Henton, from the Thorne Lions said: “It was a pleasure to meet Aaron and Joanne recently to talk about their forthcoming trip. The Lions are dedicated to fundraising to help to make a difference to people and groups across the borough. We are thrilled to see our donations making such a difference to Aaron and his family.”
For further information about Post Pals Click here
For further information about Lakeside Village Click here