Dylan Whincup was born 12 weeks premature with chronic lung disease and he attended the Cleveland unit at The James Cook University Hospital in Middlesbrough for nearly two years to boost his development.
When Dylan started coming to the unit he could not walk or talk and his parents Stephen and Lynne wondered if he ever would, but thanks to the fantastic work the unit did with Dylan he is now such a happy-go-lucky little fella who has a love for life.
Stephen, a 45 year old works manager for Balfour Beatty Rail in Newcastle, organised a coast-to-coast cycle ride in aid of the unit as a way of saying thanks to the staff for the time, care and attention they have given to Dylan, who is now aged five.
Stephen, who lives in Grangetown, said “I and 28 colleagues and friends undertook this gruelling three-day challenge last month to cycle the 152 miles from Whitehaven to Tynemouth. It was extremely hard work and probably the most arduous thing most of us have ever done, but it was well worth it. We have managed to raise somewhere in the region of £5,000 for the unit.
“I know how important this money will be to the unit. Even some our suppliers – TXM Plant of Doncaster and Warrington; Speedy Hire Services of Derby; McGinley Support Services of Watford; VGC Group of London and Newcastle along with Story Contracting and Stobart Rail, both of Carlisle – took to their saddles and I would like to personally thank them for their efforts along with the rest of the team from Balfour Beatty Rail and elsewhere.”
As for Dylan, his dad added “We are so proud of him we cannot keep him still these days – he now goes quad biking on a regular basis which is a big step in Dylan’s development.”
Liz Pickard, head teacher at the Cleveland unit, was thrilled to accept such a generous donation on behalf of all the children and families who attend the Cleveland Unit.
She said “My personal thanks also to Stephen, his family, friends and colleagues who supported him on this amazing bike ride and in giving so generously of their time and human effort!
“At the unit, we are always striving to develop our services to ensure that the care, development and education of every child is outstanding. We have very ambiguous plans to develop a new sensory integration room to support the children’s development and we would like to put the donation towards to making that dream a reality. With support from our health colleagues, together we will be able to offer greater therapeutic support and extend their learning experiences.”