Two of a Kind Twins go the extra mile for Crosshouse Children’s Fund
Monday, 19 August 2019
A pair of twins from Dalry have marked their 10th birthdays by taking on a 34-mile charity cycle to fundraise for the hospital that cared for them when they were babies.
Dalry Primary pupils Hamish and Aoife Powie-Smith cycled from Balloch to Tarbet and back again this summer, raising more than £1,300 in sponsorship for the new Crosshouse Children’s Fund.
The siblings were born prematurely at 30 weeks’ gestation at University Hospital Crosshouse on 8th July 2009 after doctors discovered Hamish had what is known as intrauterine growth restriction. At birth he weighed just 1lb 9oz, half the weight of sister Aoife.
Aoife wasn’t breathing when she was born, but stabilised after three days and made it home to her parents two weeks before her original due date. It was a longer journey for Hamish, who underwent emergency surgery, before finally making it home to his family on Christmas Eve. He is still under outpatient consultant care at the hospital.
They decided to mark their milestone 10th birthdays by supporting other families like theirs, with the backing of Mum, Lena McMillan; dad, Andy Powie-Smith and big sister, Orlaith (11).
Lena said: “This year, Hamish and Aoife decided between them that they wanted to mark their birthdays by taking on a cycle challenge and raising money for a special cause. They’re very active, sporty children, and this is a big milestone for them, so we were all very supportive of the idea.
“This was around the same time that Crosshouse Children’s Fund launched. It supports the Paediatric, Maternity and Neonatal Units at the hospital, all of which have supported our family at some point over the last decade. To put it frankly, we wouldn’t have three living children if it wasn’t for Crosshouse and NHS Ayrshire and Arran, so the Fund is already very close to our hearts.
“The kids were really keen to support this new cause and we reached out to all our family and friends for sponsorship. When the day of the cycle finally arrived, it was pouring with rain, but it didn’t dampen their spirits at all. Orlaith and I cycled with them, while Andy and our dogs travelled in a support car alongside us. The kids were determined to get to cross the finish line and we are so very proud of all three of them. I don’t think they can quite believe how much money they’ve helped raise.”
Crosshouse Children’s Fund was launched in May this year by Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, and will raise money for the hospital’s Paediatric, Maternity and Neonatal Units, supporting babies, children and families from across Ayrshire and Arran by providing enhanced equipment and support services that can help to alleviate the worries of a hospital visit.
Shona Cardle, chief executive at Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Crosshouse Children’s Fund is already attracting support across Ayrshire and Arran. The efforts of young people like Hamish and Aoife are helping to increase awareness of it every day, as well as raising vital funds to help teams at Crosshouse achieve even more for the children and families in their care. Our heartfelt thanks goes to them and to everyone who has shown their support for the Fund in its first months.”
Each year at University Hospital Crosshouse, almost 8,000 babies, children and young people are treated within the Paediatrics Department; more than 4,000 within Maternity Services; 500 at the Neonatal Unit and almost 13,000 are seen in the Emergency Department (ED).
The charity is calling on more families to join the Crosshouse Children’s Fund team at the upcoming GO! Festival Family Cycle in Ayr on Saturday 7th September 2019. The 9 mile route is suitable for children aged 8 and above, and takes in views of the seafront, Burns Cottage and Rozzelle Park. To secure one of the limited charity family places, contact 01292 435 197 or visit www.CrosshouseChildrensFund.org/support-us.
About Crosshouse Children’s Fund
Crosshouse Children’s Fund is held by Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity which raises funds to ensure that patients and their families receive the best possible care and experience in hospital – including enhanced medical equipment, innovative play programmes, family support services and ground breaking paediatric research. Since 2001, Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity has invested more than £30million in enhancements to Glasgow’s Royal Hospital for Children, Specialist Children’s Services for children with mental health conditions and long term illnesses, and the neonatal units at the Princess Royal Maternity and Royal Alexandra hospitals.
Glasgow Children’s Hospital Charity has established Crosshouse Children’s Fund to support children from Ayrshire and Arran in hospital.
For more information, visit www.CrosshouseChildrensFund.org