A South Yorkshire mum whose son died from cystic fibrosis aged just 26 is striding into the Peak District to raise cash in his memory.
Andrea Blackett is taking part in the Walk for Wards around the Longshaw Estate in aid of the Sheffield Hospitals Charity, which supports the city’s adult cystic fibrosis centre at the Northern General Hospital, where her son Michael was treated.
The 53-year-old will be completing the 10 kilometre route alongside her two-year-old grandson Corey-George – Michael’s son – as well as other family, friends and staff from the centre.
Michael, a keen musician who had started training as an engineer with Sheffield Council before he died last October, was diagnosed with CF aged 16 months.
Andrea, from Elsecar, Barnsley, said: “Michael was always a lively little chap with a zest for life and a great tolerance for all his treatment – he lived life at 100 miles per hour, but, as his lungs were already damaged, he had numerous chest infections and needed lots of intravenous antibiotics.
“When he was 15 he developed diabetes, which complicated his CF a great deal.”
Michael suffered from frequent infections which required many hospital stays.
Andrea said: “To try to sum up in a few words what the centre has done for our family is impossible.
“The new ward is a fabulous place with state-of-the-art facilities all under one roof and excellent medical care, as well as pastoral care.
“I can never thank the staff enough for helping Michael to live his life to the full despite all his setbacks.
“The unit enabled him to live, laugh, work, get married, have a child and ultimately die with dignity and love around him.”
The Star and its readers helped the Sheffield Hospitals Charity raise £1 million for the unit in a big appeal two years ago.
n Walk for Wards takes place on Sunday, June 29, with 5km and 10km routes on offer. Call 0114 271 1351 to sign up. Log on to www.justgiving.com/coreygeorge to sponsor the Blackett family.