The family of a Banbury boy who suffers from a rare syndrome is taking him on a very colourful excursion this weekend.
Lawrie Thornton will do the Helen and Douglas House Rainbow Run in his wheelchair – which will be showered at points along the way with washable paint in all the colours of a paint palette.
Lawrie, aged 20, with mum Janet and dad Tony, will be taking part with scores of others in the family-friendly fundraising event in Cutteslowe Park, Oxford on Sunday.
Mrs Thornton, of Piper’s Croft, Banbury, said: “Lawrie goes to Douglas House about once a month for a couple of days. It’s good for him at his age to spend some time away from us as any 20-year-old would want to. We either flop and recharge our batteries or do something with his brother, John, who’s 16.”
Lawrie suffers Jouberts Syndrome, a condition where his brain stem never fully developed. It means his movement, speech and, periodically, ability to breathe, are affected leaving him severely impaired and reliant on the care of others.
Mrs Thornton said: “We are looking forward to the Rainbow Run as it’s something completely different to our normal day.
“Lawrie loves going for walks, being out in the fresh air and meeting people. We are going to cover his wheelchair with a large white sheet and I can’t wait to see his reaction as it gets covered in rainbow colours!”
She adds; “It would be great if more Banbury families could sign up to the Rainbow Run and raise money for Helen and Douglas House. It is a great way to help local children and their families. Lawrie loves staying at Douglas House, as well as a break from home he gets a chance to be with other young people. He is very keen on meeting the girls. He particularly enjoys the freedom to take a long soak in the spa bath, as he is only able to take a shower at home. The Douglas House care team are amazing, looking after his every need – even projecting a sky of moving stars onto his bedroom ceiling.”
The Rainbow Run is a one-of-a-kind experience that is less about speed and more about enjoying a colorful, fun day with friends, family or work colleagues. Runners, joggers and walkers of all ages will be showered from head-to-toe with colours of the rainbow at different points along the 3km course.
To sign up for this year’s Rainbow Run or to sponsor the Thornton family, visit www.hdh.org.uk and follow the links to the Rainbow Run just beneath the page heading.