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Party raises £2,000 in tragic Charlie’s memory

FESTIVE FUNDRAISER ... from left, Chris Cookson, Lynne Davis and Sarah Howe Cookson at Charlies Christmas party. Picture by Joe Connor of Foto Couture. Inset, tragic Charlie with his mum and dad.

FESTIVE FUNDRAISER ... from left, Chris Cookson, Lynne Davis and Sarah Howe Cookson at Charlies Christmas party. Picture by Joe Connor of Foto Couture. Inset, tragic Charlie with his mum and dad.

A CHRISTMAS party was held in honour of brave Charlie Cookson, who lost his life earlier this year.

The two-and-a-half-year-old spent much of his short life in hospital, with his illness remaining a mystery to doctors who treated him for a number of health problems.

Sadly, Charlie lost his battle on October 29 – but the youngster is far from forgotten.

Since his tragic passing, parents Sarah and Chris have set up The Charlie Cookson Foundation, a charity offering financial support for the parents of seriously-ill children.

Sarah’s friend, Cheryl McDonald, organised a Christmas party to spread some festive cheer, as well as raise money for the worthy cause.

The event went ahead at Perth Green Community Association in Inverness Road, Jarrow, and was attended by 250 people.

Cheryl said: “Everyone had so much fun and we raised £2,091 for the foundation. We had a Transformer at the party and Snow White and Belle were there, as well as Mickey and Minnie Mouse, and even Santa came along to see the kids.

“I just want to say a huge thanks to all the companies involved in making the party what it was, and to the people who supplied the food and raffle prizes as well.”

Sarah, 37, of Simonside, South Shields,said: “We are in the process of sorting out our charity number, and we have had a lot of backing from other organisations who are guiding us.

“I don’t think there is any other charity that does what the Charlie Cookson Foundation does.

“Whenever a child is poorly, everyone always focuses on them, which is only right and natural.

“But what happens when parents are told their child is going to need 24/7 care and will not live a long life?

“The parents’ lives change in an instant.

“They leave their jobs or reduce hours to give unconditional love, care and attention to their child, to give them the best shot at life. But what happens when the bills are still the same, with the added expense of travel, parking, eating out, when they live a lot of their time in a hospital?

“How do they find the money to pay these costs with less pay?

“It is a massive struggle and burden added to the 24/7 worry for their child.

“The Charlie Cookson Foundation will provide financial support for a period of three-months to parents of a seriously-ill child with a life-limiting condition.

“We want to relieve that stress for a short while so they can focus solely on their precious gift, and enjoy the time they have with them.

“We know from experience how hard it is on you emotionally when in this situation, and when you add the financial strain, life feels impossible.

“A child will look for their mum and dad and this is what makes them keep going, no matter what.

“We want to help people be there for their children.”

Twitter: @shieldsgazvicki

 
 
 

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