Our Fundraisers of the Month for November are Heart Mum Natalie Fellowes with her sisters Angie Couldwell and Hayley Scott.

The three ladies took on a sponsored walk for Natalie’s son, Viktor. They trekked their way from Manchester all the way to Sheffield and raised a jaw-dropping £2,844 for CHSF!

We spoke to Natalie about why she wanted to fundraise for CHSF…

As soon as you walk onto Ward L51 at Leeds Children’s Hospital you can’t help but see for yourself just what an impact Children’s Heart Surgery Fund has.

 

My son’s first ever catheter procedure was done at 12 weeks old and even then, funds were being raised to build a state of the art hybrid suite just metres away from the unit. In May this year my son Viktor finally went for his open heart surgery at the age of two in that very beautiful, brand new theatre.

 

The Hybrid Theatre meant that the transition to theatre wasn’t as drawn out. Everything was done much more efficiently which reduced my anxiety. I also felt so much closer to what was going on and this reduced my stress massively.

 

Thanks to CHSF I was able to stay on site in the Parent’s Accommodation even during this awful pandemic. It made me feel so much more at ease. I was able to have a warm shower and have a comfy bed, all just minutes away.

 

It was all thanks to the hard work and fundraising of CHSF that any of this was even possible, so I had to come up with something regardless of lockdown to show my family’s gratitude and continued support.

My sisters and I are extremely close. We’ve grown up together as army kids so always relied on each other for friendship and support.

 

We are all health care workers so during the pandemic we spent 5 months apart with no physical contact.

 

This was extremely hard, especially for me as I was struggling with my mental health. We decided an active fundraiser would be the place to start.

 

A thank you to everyone who has walked this journey with us and will continue to do so for the rest of my sons’ life.

 

We wanted to make sure we could maintain social distance if needed but complete a challenge together so a walk from my sister’s house to my house was the idea in mind. A mere 42km to be exact. Over moors and bogs we made it together.

Is there any advice you would give to other fundraisers?

Don’t be scared to ask. People are so generous if they know more about the cause so share your story far and wide – and ask friends of friends to share too. It spreads awareness if nothing else.

Is there anything else you would like to say about CHSF?

It’s awful to think that it takes your own experience to make you aware of the kindness of others. Being part of the CHSF family reminds me that we aren’t alone in our experience and strengthens our hope for a stronger future.

 

My family and I will forever be grateful to them and will continue to support them always.

Fancy a challenge?

Beat the lockdown blues and get active to raise vital funds for our heart unit. For loads of ideas how you can start fundraising for CHSF visit www.chsf.org.uk/virtual-challenge-events