Family backs vital work of two charities

Ilkley Gazette: Sarah Lofthouse with partner Darren Bishop and son Marty Sarah Lofthouse with partner Darren Bishop and son Marty

A mother is raising money for a children’s hospital and a charity which provided a lifeline when her son was diagnosed with a rare heart condition.

In 2010 Sarah Lofthouse was told her unborn child was unlikely to survive.

But now little Marty is two and half and doing well thanks to care from Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Sarah and her partner Darren Bishop are now keen to do what they can to help the hospital and the Cardiomyopathy Association, which gave them help when they most needed it.

Sarah’s daughter Kim, 17, is also determined to help and last year raised £600 for CMA with a skydive.

Now Sarah is urging local people to support a Christmas fair in Rawdon on Saturday which will raise money for the two charities.

The event from 10am to 1pm at Trinity Church Hall will feature stalls with local hand-made gifts, Christmas baking, a cafe, Santa’s grotto, games, raffle and tombola.

Sarah, who is hoping to raise £400 with the fair, said her son was “defying his diagnosis” by being a happy and lively toddler.

“Marty is doing very well under the watchful eye of the world-renowned heart specialists at Great Ormond Street Hospital,” she said.

“The Great Ormond Street Hospital charity needs to raise vital funds to continue to provide world-class care for their young patients and their families and to pioneer new treatments and cures for childhood illness.

“We as a family have benefited from the way that the hospital supports families who visit from a long distance and the equipment that is used to help to keep a close eye on Marty’s condition.”   She added: “The Cardiomyopathy Association offers families such as ourselves vital support and information when faced with a diagnosis of disease of the heart muscle.

“Their specialist nurses provide one-to-one support whenever we need it as well as being able to provide the newly-diagnosed with lots of information though books, the website, leaflets and specialist event days.

“The CMA receives no Government funding but requires almost half a million pounds each year to be able to provide essential support.

“They were an essential lifeline to me upon Marty’s diagnosis.”

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