Warriors to take on obstacle course for children’s charity

Evie-Jean Lafferty during one of her sessions at Heel & Toe.
Evie-Jean Lafferty during one of her sessions at Heel & Toe.

A group of fundraisers will be toe-ing the line to help support children with disabilities.

Nearly 90 people will be taking part in the obstacle course race event Total Warrior in Leeds, in aid of Heel & Toe, on June 23.

Danny Thompson with his mum Lorraine Whitney.

Danny Thompson with his mum Lorraine Whitney.

The charity specialises in providing various therapies and support to physically impaired children in the north east.

And among those who will benefit are Whitley Bay’s Danny Thompson and Evie-Jean Lafferty, from North Shields.

After suffering complications at birth, which saw his first few hours of life in special care, four-year-old Danny has had feeding difficulties from an early age, as well as a history of respiratory problems.

As a result, he has been dependent on supplementary oxygen, struggling to walk independently through reduced muscle tone, and unable to communicate verbally.

Despite this, however, he is a happy and determined little boy, and with the help of services such as Heel & Toe’s conductive education, physiotherapy and SALT (Speech And Language Therapy), he is making great progress.

Mum Lorraine Whitney said: “Danny has been attending Heel & Toe since he was two years old for weekly sessions. In this time, he’s made so much progress and he is now walking with a frame, which we did not think would ever be possible.

“I’ve decided to sign up to Total Warrior to raise money for Heel & Toe so it can continue to help Danny and other children with physical difficulties.”

Three-year-old Evie-Jean was diagnosed with Noonan like Syndrome, a genetic disorder that causes a wide range of distinctive features and health problems.

Also suffering from epilepsy, she has a gastrotube fitted and suffers with visual problems as her brain does not properly process what she sees.

Thanks to Heel & Toe, Evie-Jean has taken her first steps.

Mum Hayley Lafferty said: “We were told she wouldn’t walk, but at Heel & Toe, where she has access to weekly physiotherapy sessions, she took her first steps.

“She works so hard with her exercises, often sweating and out of breath, so I thought it was only fair to put myself through something similar.

“Her determination is amazing and if I can show an ounce of her strength by completing this gruelling challenge I will be very happy.”

She added: “All of the staff are amazing and so positive – it’s like our second home.”

To donate, and help change the lives of children like Danny and Evie, visit www.heelandtoe.org.uk

To find out more about Total Warrior, and join Heel & Toe on the start line, visit www.totalwarrior.co.uk