Kind Emily's thank-you to Taylor's caring fund
PUBLISHED: 15:14 28 June 2013
When eight-year-old Keane Parker received a donation to help with his medical care, his family was delighted.
But saying thank-you was not enough for his 10-year-old sister Emily.
She was so touched by the support offered to Keane by the Taylor High Memorial Fund that she has decided to repay its kind gesture – by organising a sponsored walk to raise money for it.
Next Saturday Emily will be walking more than 10 miles along the coast between Lowestoft and Southwold, along with her uncle, 13-year-old Reece Parker, her mum Gemma Parker, 28, and Lauren Griffen.
The Elm Tree Primary School pupil came up with the idea for the walk after a donation from the fund enabled the family to buy an adjustable bed for Keane who suffers from sleeping problems caused by severe asthma.
The memorial fund was set up by 19-year-old Taylor’s parents, Elaine and Gary, after his death in a car crash in west Norfolk two years ago. Since then it has raised £33,500 and donated more than £31,000.
The High family have opted to keep the fund running as their way of “passing on Taylor’s smile”, and Emily was so inspired by their generosity that she wanted to support its work across Waveney by raising money for other deserving causes – and help someone to else smile “like her brother” did.
Her mum said: “Emily thought of it all herself – this was her inspiration. When Elaine came to present the money to us a couple of weeks ago, Emily said ‘I would do anything for my brother’.”
Miss Parker, who lives in Carlton Colville, said the walkers would be setting off next Saturday at 10am from St Margaret’s Road in Lowestoft, heading for the Red Lion pub in Southwold.
With the youngsters wearing bright yellow tops, and the adults collecting along the route, they hope to add to the £300 already raised. “Apparently it should take about two-and-a-half hours – we can’t wait for next week,” she said. “It will be a long trek, but knowing the kindness that has helped Keane, we wanted to help the fund.”
Keane, who also attends Elm Tree Primary, faces “a constant battle” according to his mum.
He was diagnosed after his birth with severe brittle asthma, which causes him problems every day and means he has difficulty sleeping. He also suffers from ADHD and needs a wheelchair.
“Keane is quite a frail little boy, but is such a brave lad for coming through all of this,” Miss Parker said.
“We’ve had countless hospital admissions and regular appointments with dieticians as he’s on 12 different tablets and medication. One minute he could be completely fine, the next minute he could be having a life-threatening asthma attack. The ADHD makes him hyperactive, which leads to an attack of asthma – it’s a constant battle.”
Since the arrival of the new, adjustable bed, she said, there had been a marked improvement in Keane’s well-being.
“Now he has got this bed it has made such a difference to his life already,” she said. “He can breathe much better at night and is no longer lying flat down at night and unable to breathe properly – he can actually sleep well. Seeing Keane’s face when the adjustable bed arrived, well, it was priceless – it has been amazing.
“Passing on his smile is all we want to do – we aim to make someone else’s little child smile through the Taylor High Memorial fund, which is such a great thing as every penny raised goes to somebody who needs it.”
■ To find out more about the Taylor High Memorial Fund, visit its page on Facebook.