Imagine being knocked down and getting back up, only to go through it all over again numerous times, writes Liam Andrews.
Well one man from Bletchley has endured just that and is now hoping to raise £250,000 in one year for Milton Keynes University Hospital charity Little Lives, which helps to fund the neonatal unit.
It’s not been an easy 14 years for Gary Freegard, 33, whose third child, Jordan was born with pneumonia and meningitis (pictured below).
Gary, who is a dad-of-five, explained: “Within minutes of her making an entrance in to the world she was whisked away to the neonatal unit.
“Jordan was born with pneumonia and meningitis and she spent the next 10 weeks in the high dependency unit.
“We were invited to take a picture of our new daughter but the words that came from the nurse’s mouth drained all life from us as she said it may be the final picture of Jordan as she might not make it through the night.
“Thankfully Jordan did make it through the ordeal and she is now a happy 14-year-old girl with no medical issues at all.
“From that day I wanted to pay back the hospital for saving my daughter’s life in any way I could.”
It’s not been easy for Gary since then, though, as after experiencing excruciating pain behind his left eye in 2015, he was told he may have cancer.
And while the MRI thankfully proved it wasn’t, it did reveal he had a brain aneurysm.
Not only this but he also has idiopathic angioedema that causes his throat to close, stopping him from being able to breath, which he is having an operation on this year.
Plus, he is currently going through tests for an undiagnosed heart condition and he has suffered from mental health issues for over 10 years.
Despite all of this Gary is still trying his best to raise money for the hospital and started Action4 earlier this year, a small non-profit independent fundraising company that holds events to raise money for Little Lives.
He added: “I’d love to set a new record by being the first person to raise £250,000 in one year for the charity.
“We’ve got loads of events happening this year including an auction evening in April, a charity bike ride in July and something extra special for Christmas.
“I’m not able to do any of my charity work without the support of local companies and organisations, so if you are willing to help with sponsorship, donations, PR or anything else then please do.”
The auction evening is taking place on Thursday April 13 at Bistro Live and tickets can be bought by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you would like to make a donation to help Gary towards his target of £250K by the end of the year, visit http://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Action4
This article was first published in the February issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Click here to read the full digital edition of the magazine.