South Yorkshire folk are gearing up to support The Children’s Hospital in Sheffield through a new partnership with the Tour de Yorkshire.
The Children’s Hospital Charity has teamed up with the event as its official charity partner, 50 days before the first ever Tour de Yorkshire international cycle race.
Among the supporters of the new partnership are 12-year-old Mia Park and her mum Sarah Firth, from Barnsley.
In January this year, Mia woke up paralysed from her neck down. It turned out to be a highly rare condition called hypokalemic periodic paralysis, caused by dangerously low levels of potassium.
Sarah said: “It was awful for her. She couldn’t do anything. She was scared and she was frustrated – and I was terrified too.
“When the paralysis comes it is just a waiting game. We can give her potassium to ward it off, but if it comes on in her sleep there is nothing we can do but wait for it to pass.”
Mia has bouts of paralysis lasting up to 19 hours. She has gone from having the extreme muscle weakness and loss of muscle movement every other day to every few weeks.
Sarah said: “I just want to raise awareness of this amazing hospital. Our life was changed in an instant, but everyone at the hospital has been fantastic at helping us. If it wasn’t for this hospital, we still wouldn’t have answers.”
The charity partnership, which has been dubbed ROAR de Yorkshire, was launched by Yorkshire cycling legends Brian Robinson and Malcolm Elliott.
Rebecca Staden, fundraising manager at the charity, said: “Every penny raised through fundraising over the three days will help transform the lives of hundreds of thousands of poorly children. We want as many people as possible to shout, scream and ROAR about our fantastic hospital.”