Charity swim boosts Mia’s total to £25,000

Mia joins the swimming challenge to help raise funds for the hospital unit which cared for her. (S)

Mia joins the swimming challenge to help raise funds for the hospital unit which cared for her. (S)

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A spirited young toddler’s fight for life has spurred dozens of Harrogate fundraisers to raise £25,000 for the hospital unit which cared for her.

Three-year-old Mia Mason, diagnosed with a devastating kidney disease shortly after birth, underwent major six-hour transplant surgery in November to save her life.

Five months on, she is walking, talking, and taking giant strides in her development, catching up with other children her age.

And her inspirational story, shared by her family to back the Harrogate Advertiser’s organ donor campaign, has touched the hearts of people across the district.

Her family’s fundraising, to raise money for the hospital unit which cared for her, has now reached a total of £25,000 after the latest fundraiser, a charity swim on Sunday.

“We smashed our targets,” said Mia’s grandmother Carol Hare, who has been organising events for the past year. “Mia’s story has touched so many people, it’s fantastic.”

In total, 46 people took part in Sunday’s charity swim at Ashville School. The goal was to complete 1,020 lengths, equivalent to the breadth of the English Channel, but when that target was reached by lunchtime, swimmers decided to keep going.

In total participants, including Mia’s two-year-old brother Harry, and an 80-year-old family friend, completed 1,690 lengths, more than 30 miles, raising more than £2,000 to add to the charity total.

“It was such good fun, it was a really lovely day,” said Carol. “We’ve had such great support.

“We had people who could swim a lot, and others who just wanted to do what they could.”

Local businesses, including Screwfix, Harrogate Timber, Howdens, Grove House RAOB on Skipton Road, and Wedges sandwich shop on Cold Bath Road all put up posters advertising the event and looking for sponsors.

Claro Beagle put on a free buffet for everybody afterwards, while Ashville Pool offered its services, eight staff joining the swim and more volunteering for next time.

“We can’t thank them enough for all their help,” said Carol this week. “It’s so important for us to do what we can to give a little back to the Leeds Children’s Hospital.

“Mia is doing really well now, she’s just coming on in leaps and bounds, we couldn’t have imagined it year ago.

“The doctors do their bit, because that’s what they’re good at. This is the only thing we can do, to help others who are in the same boat as we were.”

Visit www.justgiving.co.uk/swimmingformia to back the campaign.