A groom-to-be is organising a charity football fun day as part of his stag celebrations to give back to The Sick Children’s Trust which supported his best man.
John Dyche, 34 from Washingborough, will be hosting his fundraiser for The Sick Children’s Trust on Sunday 2 April at Lincoln Moorlands Railway Football Club in a bid to raise £1,000. John is raising money for the charity to say thank you on behalf of his best man, Fran Viscomi, who was given free ‘Home from Home’ accommodation run by the charity last year when his daughter, Raffaella, was born seriously ill.
Raffaella was born with Hirschsprung's disease – a nerve condition which causes serious chronic constipation. And before she had even reached 48 hours old she was rushed 60 miles away from Lincoln County Hospital to Sheffield Children’s Hospital for lifesaving surgery. For two weeks, while Raffaella recovered, her parents Fran and Rachael, from Witham St Hughs, were supported at The Sick Children’s Trust’s Magnolia House, just a few minutes’ from their baby’s hospital bedside.
John is asking anyone who attends his fundraiser to donate £2, which will go to the charity. Guests can expect a fun-filled day with a football match and lots of family entertainment including a bouncy castle, face painter and raffle prize draw. John, an employee for Vodafone who have pledged to match donations, says:
“I saw how much it meant to Fran and Rachael to have a ‘Home from Home’ when Raffaella was ill. The help they received from The Sick Children’s Trust was amazing and I want to raise awareness of the charity on their behalf. Magnolia House helped them cope, allowing them be close to their poorly baby and support her every step of the way.
“I’m hoping to raise at least £1,000 for The Sick Children’s Trust and would love to see lots of families turning up in support of the charity so it can continue to help more families with seriously ill children in hospital.”
Raffaella, now 21 months old, has had two further surgeries at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and is doing really well. Dad Fran, who also works for Vodafone, says:
“It was honestly the worst time of my life. Having a sick baby is draining – physically and emotionally. We also have an older daughter, Sofia, who didn’t understand why she couldn’t cuddle her little sister and why her mummy and daddy weren’t around, so we needed to be there to comfort her too.
“Magnolia House made this traumatic situation so much easier though. We could be with Raffaella at any time, and if we needed to go back to the house for rest and the nurses had to contact us, they could because of the direct telephone line in the room. It was such a relief knowing we could be there straight away if anything changed. The Sick Children’s Trust has honestly helped us so much, and we are delighted that John has so kindly chosen to support the charity for us.”
The Sick Children’s Trust runs ten ‘Homes from Home’ across the country, giving families with seriously ill children free accommodation just minutes from their child’s hospital bedside. It costs the charity £30 to support a family for one night in a ‘Home from Home’. Ann Wyatt, who manages both Treetop and Magnolia Houses in Sheffield, says:
“It sounds like this is going to be a great family fun day! It’s so lovely to hear how John has chosen to do this event as part of his wedding celebrations and fundraise on behalf of Fran and Rachael, and it’s wonderful to hear how well Raffaella is doing.
“As a charity, we completely rely on voluntary donations to keep our ten ‘Homes from Home’ running, so we’d like to thank John very much for thinking of us in the lead up to his special day.”
John’s charity football fun day will be held on Sunday 2 April at Lincoln Moorlands Railway Football Club with a 2pm kick off. Admission is £2 per person with all donations going towards The Sick Children’s Trust. Find out more, please visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Charity-Football-Match-Sick-Childrens-Trust