Banbury area teenager tackles 50 miles to raise money for Helen & Douglas House whose team cares for her little brother

A 16-year-old girl from Middleton Cheney is taking on a 50-mile challenge next month to raise cash for Helen & Douglas House Hospice, whose team cares for her little brother Nathan.

By Roseanne Edwards
Monday, 25th October 2021, 12:12 pm
Updated Monday, 25th October 2021, 12:14 pm
Kayleigh Best will be proudly wearing her Helen and Douglas House teeshirt during her fundraising activities
Kayleigh Best will be proudly wearing her Helen and Douglas House teeshirt during her fundraising activities

Nathan, aged 10, was born with Prader Willi syndrome, a rare genetic life-limiting condition which causes a range of symptoms and he has been going to Helen & Douglas House for nine years for short respite stays.

Nathan has low muscle tone and balance issues which means he often needs his frame to walk, or a wheelchair on bad days and he is also fed through a tube.

During his first year, it was easier for Mum Jenny to cope with his complex needs. But, as he got older and his physical symptoms increased, a local nurse could see signs that Mrs Best was starting to struggle as his primary carer. And, as a mother with three other children to look after, she was heading towards exhaustion. This is when she was referred to Helen & Douglas House Children’s Hospice.

Kayleigh and Nathan Best at home in Middleton Cheney

Kayleigh is aiming to raise £250 for Helen & Douglas House and plans to walk and run for 50 miles during November.

Kayleigh said: "I have taken on the challenge to run or walk 50 miles in November in aid of Helen & Douglas House for all they have done for my family and continue to do for us. I have a little brother called Nathan who goes to Helen & Douglas House for respite care.

"When Nathan visits Helen & Douglas House, it gives mum time to rest and we do things together that Nathan cannot do. They are also there at hard times to support us all. It is vital that they have sponsored events such as this as they have very little government fundings so they rely on money donated and fundraising.

"I will be walking and running 50 miles in November as my way of saying thank you to Helen & Douglas House. They help us as a family by giving wonderful support, counselling, and respite care."

Anyone can join the 50 miles in November Facebook challenge. It is a great opportunity to have fun and get active by walking or running 50 miles. You can do it whenever you like, wherever you like - in your local park or nearby woods and however you like – run, walk with or without your dog, or a do bit of both, during November to raise vital funds to help local terminally ill children.

It is really easy to sign up and take part with great freebies on offer. All you need to do us search for ’50 miles in November’ on Facebook and join the Facebook Group. Once you register you will receive a free t-shirt and paper mile counter. Once you raise £100 for this local charity you will receive a lovely face buff and once you raise £250 you get a free orange beanie hat.

You will be joining a group of like-minded people in a Facebook community where you can support each other and share hints and tips on fundraising, walking or running. You can also share progress with your friends and family.

Mrs Best said: "Nathan tells me that Helen & Douglas House is his favourite place in the world. Aside from the exceptional one-to-one care they give him, he is often found singing, taking part in craft sessions, kicking about a football in the garden and baking, which is made possible by the specialist facilities they have for disabled children.

"Thanks to the support from Helen & Douglas House he is often seen at the hospice with a huge smile plastered across his face and is very reluctant to come home."

Hannah Smart from Helen & Douglas House said: "We are so excited about our first Facebook fundraiser. Over 900 people have signed up already to take part and you can register anytime to join this challenge during October to start running or walking on 1st November. We would like to thank people like Kayleigh and everyone else who has signed up for helping us to raise money to care for local families like Nathan’s."