Mother raises money to help fulfil children’s wishes

Jackie Day will be running the Great South Run on Sunday (October 22) in memory of her son Andrew

A bereaved mother from Storrington is raising money for the Make a Wish Foundation to help terminally-ill children’s dreams come true just like they did for her son.

Jackie Day’s son Andrew died in July 2011, aged 13, after a battle with neuroblastoma – a rare cancer that affects children.

Andrew Day meeting the Lego designers in 2010 with his sister Katie

In September 2010, the Make a Wish Foundation granted him a trip of a lifetime to Billund, in Denmark to visit the Lego headquarters.

Seven years on, his mother Jackie is raising money by running the Great South Run, in Portsmouth, on Sunday (October 22) to ensure other children, like her son, are granted their wishes.

She said: “Lego was Andrew’s thing. He wanted to be a Lego designer so we looked into going to the Lego factory in Denmark and the Make a Wish Foundation granted his wish.

“As well as visiting Legoland, we stayed in a hotel on site with a Lego themed room, and we even got the opportunity to meet the Lego designers.

Andrew Day

“They asked Andrew what his favourite Lego was and they showed him how to build it.

“He just walked around with such a massive grin on his face everyday. He was just completely taken by it all.

“It was a dream come true.”

On Sunday, Jackie will be taking on the ten-mile run with Andrew’s beaming smile on her mind.

She said: “I am the last person in the world you could imagine being a runner. I decided I would like to get fit and a friend of mine inspired me to get involved with her class.

“For the first few weeks, I was running for a minute, then walking for a minute. In the second week, we tried to build that to two minutes but it was tough to begin with.

“I started my training in June 2016 and then signed up for the Great South Run in April this year.”

Andrew was joined on the trip of a lifetime, in September 2010, with his sister Katie, now 13, father Chris and mother Jackie, both now 47.

Jackie added: “We knew it would be difficult to treat Andrew’s condition so, in 2010, we followed up the idea of him having a wish from the Make A Wish Foundation.

“We contacted the charity and they sent out wishmakers to our house and spoke to Andrew about what he would like to be when he grows up.

“Even on the flight over there, we had a letter from the Make a Wish Foundation to give to the crew saying we have Andrew experiencing his wish and could you make it special for him.

“They invited him up to the cockpit with his sister which created an ear to ear smile across his face.

“He was 12 at the time and receiving treatment at the Royal Marsden Hospital but you wouldn’t have known that there was anything wrong with him.

“Despite all the horrible drugs he was on, he would never have considered himself to have been a child in need.

“Lego was his distraction while he was in hospital. He could just pass the hours by building models.”

If you would like to support Jackie’s fundraising attempt, please visit http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/fundraiser-web/fundraiser/displaySomeoneSpecialPage.action?pageUrl=AndrewDay.

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