The Kelso family from Northwich is no stranger to fundraising, spurred on by two of their children who have been struck down by serious illnesses.
Now parents Gemma and Gary are busy planning their latest fundraising event – a masquerade ball inspired by their two-year-old son Gabriel who has cystic fibrosis.
Their eldest son Cieran was just 13 months old when he contracted meningococcal septicaemia, one week after he started walking.
He lost both legs from below the knee and was left with only one full finger.
Determined to ensure Cieran had the prosthetic legs he deserved, Gemma and Gary raised enough money to have three sets made by holding events like a midnight walk and a ball.
It was while they were planning the ball that they found out they were expecting Gabriel.
Gemma said the pregnancy and delivery were ‘perfect’, but two weeks after he was born they received the devastating news that he had the lifelong genetic disorder.
“It was a terrible blow to us all, including Cieran and their sister Layla, but we picked ourselves up, learnt about Gabriel’s treatments and faced his cystic fibrosis head on,” Gemma explained.
“We haven’t held any major fundraisers since then. We have sold sunflower seeds in support of the Cystic Fibrosis Trust and run a handful of 10k races, so we felt it was about time that we held a bigger event and helped raise as much money as possible.”
The masquerade ball, which is being sponsored by the Golden Egg Group, will be held at Nunsmere Hall Hotel in Northwich on October 2 in aid of the trust.
Tickets cost £50, which includes a champagne reception, a three-course dinner with wine, live music and entertainment, and a raffle.
“We would love the ball to be a sell-out, but if people are able to donate raffle prizes or money to the Cystic Fibrosis Trust it would mean the world to us,” Gemma said.
She added that both her boys are ‘doing amazing’ and that Gabriel is ‘the healthiest he has been in a long time’, while Cieran, now 10, will start his final year of primary school in September.
To donate raffle prizes or purchase tickets for the ball, contact Gemma on 07890833313 or firstname.lastname@example.org.