Mother to take great strides for Charliejo

Joanne Proctor and her son Charliejo
Joanne Proctor and her son Charliejo
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A MOTHER of five children, including two with disabilities, will be striding out on Sunday to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

Joanne Proctor, 32, of Glen Crescent, Stamford, is taking part in the trust’s Great Strides walk at Ferry Meadows in Peterborough and is appealing for sponsors to help her reach her £500 target.

Joanne’s five-year-old son Charliejo has cystic fibrosis and Joanne has previously done a skydive and held a car boot sale, not only to raise money but to raise awareness of the disease.

“Cystic fibrosis is one of the most common life-threatening illnesses there is but most people know little about it and there is not much in the way of support,” she says.

Charliejo had to have immediate major bowel surgery on the day of his birth in 2006 and was diagnosed within a week. Cystic Fibrosis is caused by a faulty gene which in turn causes excessive build-up of mucus in the body.

The digestive system and breathing are worst affected and there is no cure.

The little boy has to have daily medication and St Augustine’s School, which he attends, called in a cystic fibrosis nurse to show teachers how to look after him. He has had numerous surgical procedures and regularly attends hospital.

Joanne said: “The school has been absolutely brilliant, but Charliejo faces challenges every day. He has to have physiotherapy twice daily and take 30-40 tablets a day. He has grommets in his ears, is on a dairy-free diet and at one time he would stop breathing in the night.”

Nevertheless, she says, he is a fighter with a positive attitude to life.

Single mum Joanne has another son, Marcus, eight, who suffers from Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder and autism. Her three other children are Sarah, 14, Lauren, 13 and Sophia, six. Charliejo and two of her daughters will be walking on Sunday.

There are three distances and the family are aiming to tackle the longest one of five miles. The walk starts and finishes from the Lakeside Cafe and anyone wanting to take part can register before the 9.30am start. Entry costs £10 for adults and £5 for children.

“As a family we do a lot of walking as it’s good exercise for Charliejo. We’re all really looking forward to the walk. There may not be a cure in Charliejo’s lifetime but funding the Cystic Fibrosis Trust will hopefully lead to a cure one day,” Joanne says.

See Charliejo’s page at www.virginmoneygiving.com/charliejoapeal to donate and for more details - and please note apeal is spelt with just one p.

The Cystic Fibrosis Trust funds research into the disease with the emphasis currently on gene therapy. There are 9,000 people in the UK who have the condition and an estimated two million people who carry the recessive gene.