Couple will go the extra 13.1 miles to improve life of terminally ill youngster

A businesswoman and her partner are set to go the extra mile - or 13.1 - to try and improve the life of a terminally ill five-year-old boy.

Friday, 13th September 2013, 7:00 am
From left to right are Claudette Roberts, Jake Booth and David Freeth. Claudette and David are running the Great North Run to raise money to buy equipment for Jake

Claudette Roberts and her partner David Freeth are taking part in the Bupa Great North Run on Sunday to raise money to buy crucial equipment for Mytholmroyd school boy Jake Booth, who was diagnosed with Batten Disease in 2012.

The relatively rare illness has left Jake blind, in a wheelchair and having to be fed through a tube, and Claudette and David want to raise enough money to buy a mobile air conditioning unit and a wheelchair canopy.

Claudette, who owns Fleur De Lys in Hebden Bridge, said: “Jake’s mum and dad, Joanne and Joel, are absolutely amazing parents. I really admire them.

“They have gone through so much this last year with Jake, so the decision to help raise money for Jake(our own idea, they have never asked for help) was an easy one.

“Since Jake was diagnosed, his needs have changed so we want to raise some money to buy some equipment to make his life a little easier.

“Top of the list is a mobile air conditioning unit which will help him regulate his body temperature, which he can’t do himself. If he gets too warm it sets his coughing off and that triggers seizures.

“We’re also hoping to get him a rain and sun canopy for his wheelchair so he can be protected from the elements during walks.”

Claudette said she has run the Great North Run before and knows what to expect, but said the desire to get Jake his equipment will get her through any difficult points in the race.

“Training has been going really well. I’ve been going for quite a few runs a week,” she said.

“It’s given us a bit more emphasis and motivation having this cause to run for.

“I have run the Great North Run before, but it was about ten years ago. David and I did the Melbourne 10k when we were on holiday last year, so that was a lot of training to get ready for the North Run really.”

Jake who attends Wood Bank School, Luddenden Foot, lives with his parents at Albert Street, Mytholmroyd.

Claudette said that since her customers found out she was raising money for Jake they have really rallied around.

“We have raised a little bit of extra money through our customers,” she said.

“A lady called Kate brought in some lavender from her garden and was happy for us to use that for Jake’s funds. Another customer, Tracey, brought in some of her homegrown vegetables as well.”

To raise money for him and support Claudette and David, fill in a sponsorship form - these are available at Fleur De Lys on Crown Street.

There is also a donation box at the shop, for anyone who wants to make a one-off contribution.

For more information, call Claudette on 01422 843171.