Sunderland park toddle will raise cash for Cystic Fibrosis Trust

Chris and Nadine Page with their children, Elliot and Dominic.

Chris and Nadine Page with their children, Elliot and Dominic.

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Wearside toddlers are putting their best feet forward to raise money for charity.

The family of 18-month-old Elliot Page have organised a sponsored toddle around Herrington Country Park on Saturday, to raise money for the Cystic Fibrosis Trust.

It can be really hard. No-one would think there was anything wrong with him, but if they came to my home they would see all the medication he has to take, along with physiotherapy.

Nadine Page

This will be the second annual toddle and this year is expected to be bigger and better.

Nadine and Chris Page, from Beckwith Grange, Doxford, were devastated when health officials broke the news their youngest son had cystic fibrosis.

They threw themselves into fund-raising for research into the condition to help Elliot and other children with the illness, and have already raised about £15,000.

Nadine said: “We have about 50 children and their families taking part this year and the theme is princesses and superheroes.

“Last year we raised £2,700 through the toddle and are hoping to beat that this year.”

The families will gather next to Herrington Country Park’s lake at about 10.30am, and will walk the mile around it before tucking into their picnics.

Chris, a spray painter, and Nadine, who are also parents to five-year-old Dominic, were stunned when at almost three weeks old they were given the news their apparently healthy baby was suffering from a serious condition.

Nadine said health experts found out from the heel prick test all new babies get, and it was an horrendous blow for the family.

She said: “It can be really hard. No-one would think there was anything wrong with him, but if they came to my home they would see all the medication he has to take, along with physiotherapy.

“Even though research has made great progress, Elliot’s life expectancy is still just 41.

“Because he is so well at the moment you sometimes forget it is so serious, and then you have to tell someone your child has a terminal illness, which is very difficult.”

Cystic fibrosis, which is an inherited disease affecting almost 10,000 people in the UK, causes the lungs and digestive system to become clogged with a thick, sticky mucus, causing serious problems as time goes by and often leading to the need for a lung transplant.

Money raised through the toddle will go to the research into developing new ways of treating the long-term effects of the condition.

Anyone who would like to make a donation should visit www.justgiving.com/CFToddle2015.