Staff from a Surbiton IT company have walked almost 3million steps in a month to raise funds for six-year-old Mia May from Maidstone, who has a genetic disorder which leaves her blind and unable to speak or walk.
Eight staff members at Viadex took part in individual sponsored walks during their March challenge, smashing their 10,000 steps a day target – raising around £1,300 for little Mia May. They also held a raffle which raised £500.
Since Mia May’s condition was discovered following MRI scans at Great Ormond Street when she was 10 months old, her parents Nick McDonald, 40, and Joanna Woollard, 36, have been working tirelessly with charity Tree of Hope to raise funds to pay for private physiotherapy and hydrotherapy to improve the child’s strength and movement.
Six months ago, the family welcomed labrador Bouncer into their home after raising money for a support dog for Mia from charity Supporting Paws. Bouncer is continuing his training and should eventually be able to help calm Mia down when she becomes frustrated, as well as providing companionship.
Brian Dunleavy, the commercial director at Viadex, said: “We have had the pleasure of working with Mia May’s father Nick for over five years now and he has become part of our extended Viadex family.
“Throughout this time we were aware of the situation with Mia May. As part of our annual commitment to fundraising and community social responsibility initiatives, we decided to commit all our efforts this year to help Mia May’s parents Jo and Nick with their fundraising project through Tree of Hope.
McDonald, who works in IT sales said: “Bouncer is still a puppy really but he already knows that while he can be quite boisterous with myself and Joanna, he needs to be gentle with Mia. She also needs a lot of attention – especially since she hasn’t been at school so much lately – so we’re hoping he will be good company for her too.”
The family have raised thousands through donations from local companies and events such as sponsored tough mudder races and triathlons by completed McDonald’s colleagues at Fujitsu in Bracknell.
“The need for fundraising is constant as Mia May gets bigger,” McDonald said.
“We are always grateful for donations to Mia May’s fund. We are incredibly grateful to Viadex for their support – it means a lot.”
Children’s charity Tree of Hope helps families raise funds for children like Mia May with healthcare needs and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support whilst also providing donor reassurance. To donate to Mia May’s fund, visit https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/mia-mcdonald/
For more information about Supporting Paws visit https://www.facebook.com/assistancesupportingpaws/
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