Oakley Constable, six, aims to fundraise for hospital that looks after his little sister
A six-year-old schoolboy is set to follow in his mum's fundraising footsteps when he takes on a sponsored walk in aid of a children's hospital ward.
Oakley Constable is set to walk 5k on Tuesday October 26 to raise money for the children's unit, Holly Ward, at Hinchingbrooke Hospital, which has provided amazing care to his little sister Olivia.
His walk follows the success of his mum Clarissa Constable's own fundraising effort. She took on a marathon 26 mile hike from March to Huntingdon with her mum-in-law Sadie Richardson and sister-in-law Chloe Richardson by her side on October 9, with the trio clocking up over 54,000 steps by completing the challenge.
Three-year-old Olivia suffers from a rare genetic condition called Tuberous Sclerosis Complex, which causes mainly non-cancerous tumours around her body including major organs.
A side affect of this is Olivia, who was diagnosed with the condition at the age of nine months, suffers serious epilepsy and has many seizures per day caused by tumours in her head.
The situation has resulted in many hospital stays and Clarissa describes Holly Ward as a 'home from home' for the superb care they provide for Olivia.
One of her most recent stays followed surgery to try to help control Olivia's seizures.
She had a vagus nerve stimulator (VNS) fitted. A VNS is a device used to treat seizures when seizure drugs are not effective and surgery is not possible.
VNS consists of a pacemaker-like generator that is implanted in the chest wall and is programmed by the physician to stimulate the vagus nerve in the neck, which in turn helps stop the seizures.
Oakley, a pupil at Westwood primary School, helps look after Olivia and his caring nature won him a recent award from school.
Now he wants to emulate his mum and complete a sponsored walk to raise money for the hospital.
Clarissa and her family raised nearly £3,000 by their efforts with the cash set to be spent on toys, ward pushchairs and buggies as well as special seats.
The three women have been overwhelmed by the support they received especially from friends who secretly organised to be at the finish line when they arrived at the hospital.
Clarissa, who gave up work as an estate agent to become a stay at home mum to care for Olivia and now runs an online Body Shop business, said she had no idea that her friends and family would be meeting her at the finish line.
She said: "I saw them and I just cried. They'd made posters for us, a finish line and bought us all chocolate – they also had Olivia’s Journey t-shirts on!
“I then came home to flowers, Nosecco and cards of support from amazing friends.
"Now Oakley wants to do his bit to help and is determined to walk 5k and hopes to raise £100 for the hospital.
"He has his own Justgiving page - Oakley's Page - where people can donate."
Clarissa added: "Holly Ward is so fantastic, nothing is ever too much trouble and they really offer such great care for Olivia and for us. They really treat us like family, they are incredible.
"Hinchingbrooke is the reason we still have Olivia, without them who knows what could happen, so it is wonderful to be able to say thank-you."
Clarissa concluded: "I really hurt after completing the walk, but that's nothing to what Olivia goes through every day but nothing ever gets her down, she just takes everything in her stride."
Follow Olivia's journey on Facebook."