A heartfelt response
Just before Christmas 2010, Catlin cargo underwriter, Chris Green helped push the ambulance carrying his friends’ small son through the surrounding snow bound streets. That ambulance was taking toddler, Joel Bearder for life saving treatment at Leeds General Infirmary (LGI). Chris decided to find out about Joel’s condition and to do a little more than help push an ambulance. Since then he and his wife, Victoria have raised a whopping £12,000 for the hospital, with more on the way!
"I knew from our friends Gaynor and Tony Bearder that Joel had a congenital heart defect," says Chris. "But it was not until I helped push that ambulance that the seriousness of it all and its impact on Joel and his family hit me so hard. I subsequently found out that Joel has a condition called critical aortic stenosis, a disease affecting the heart valves.
"I also found out that the children’s heart surgery unit at LGI has performed miracles in treating Joel – saving his life on no fewer than three occasions over the past five years. The children’s unit is part of the infirmary’s heart surgery unit, which treats over 10,000 patients a year from Yorkshire, Humberside and the North Midlands. Around 330 of those need life-saving open heart surgery."
Last year Chris and Victoria embarked on a fund raising campaign in support of the children’s heart surgery fund. In May 2011, their inaugural annual ball was a sell-out, attracting 300 guests and raising £9,500. Chris followed this in June with a sponsored 15,000 foot sky dive, this time raising £2,500 in the process, or rather the fall!
"I had decided on the sky dive but was not keen on Victoria joining me," says Chris. "So, she decided to stay firmly rooted on terra firma and organise a ball instead. The results were outstanding and so this year we have organised another ball, taking place on 11 May. It’s again another sell-out. A little later, on 20 May (Chris’s birthday), 22 friends and family will be joining me in a sponsored walk from Linthwaite in Huddersfield to the LGI in Leeds. It’s just under 25 miles and we're hoping to raise £5,000 along the way.
"Pushing the ambulance that cold, icy evening was something of a catalyst, prompting me to support the great work performed by the staff at the LGI. I am blessed with two healthy youngsters and I can only imagine what the Bearder family have been through over the past five years. My fundraising is all about putting something back into the community; helping to make a difference. With my wife and lots of other people’s help, I believe that we are succeeding in doing just that!"
Want to know more about Chris’s fundraising or make a donation? Simply contact Chris at Catlin’s Leeds office.