Couple's fundraising total in memory of tragic son reaches £17,000
- Credit: CHSW
A Somerset couple who had aimed to raise £10,000 for Children’s Hospice South West (CHSW) in memory of their son, have smashed their target.
Matt and Lauren Stevens planned to take part in numerous events this year to raise funds for Wraxall-based CHSW which cared for them and their precious son, Nolan.
Along with friends and family, Taunton-based Matt and Lauren took part in the Brighton Marathon and 10k at the weekend and have now seen their fundraising total soar to more than £17,000.
Matt took part in the race dressed as Woody from Toy Story.
"I made a pact with Nolan, if he was still with us on April 10 I’d run the marathon in normal attire, if he wasn’t I’d do it as his favourite toy," he said.
Nolan was born at Musgrove Park Hospital in Taunton in August 2021 but due to complications at birth was rushed to Southmead Neonatal ITU in Bristol.
Matt said: "After defying the odds and doctors’ expectations, we were told Nolan had a life-limiting condition and that’s when we were introduced to Charlton Farm."
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CHSW's Charlton Farm hospice, near Portishead, helps and supports families who face the emotional and physical strain of caring for children who, sadly, are not expected to live into adulthood.
Charlton Farm offered Matt and Lauren respite stays, allowing them to reenergize and rest as Nolan required round the clock medical care.
"The hospice not only gave Nolan care and comfort, they also give us the opportunity to be a family and make memories in the limited time we had together," Matt said.
"At Charlton Farm we were away from the monitors and the clinical environment of the hospital.
"They helped us take Nolan to the beach and the zoo, and we were able to enjoy pubs and walks and meals out together."
Nolan sadly died in November 2021 at just three months old.
Matt said: "He left an irreplaceable hole; his memory will reign through our family. The most special little boy knew nothing but love and cuddles, he was truly spoilt and cherished everyday."
Each of CHSW's three hospices provide care for the whole family, not just the child with a life-limiting condition.
"Charlton Farm gave all three of us and our extended family nothing but love, sympathy, and respect," Matt added.
"Most importantly, they have been there for us when we really need a hug, chat or cry. The days when you feel lost or broken there’s always someone to talk to, it truly is inspiring what they do.
"We want to continue to raise money for this incredible charity and help to make sure families in the future have the same quality of care.
"Nothing will bring back little Nolan but together we can help others with the immensely tough times ahead."
If you would like to support the family with their fundraising, you can donate at www.justgiving.com/fundraising/nolan-stevenschsw