A grateful man will be taking part in the Great North Swim next month to raise awareness and funds in thanks to Leeds General Infirmary.
Though Glyn Harland admits he is not a swimmer, he said he wanted to do something positive for the hospital where his partner’s granddaughter has spent much of her life.
Mia Mason is two-years-old and because of the rare condition she was born with, called congenital nephrotic syndrome, she needs a kidney transplant and the care provided by the hospital.
Glyn said: “Mia has a very debilitating disease that is life shortening. She is going to have to have two or three kidney transplants in her life and she has already got hardening of the arteries, which is something associated with old age.
“She is very small for a two and a half year old and she keeps getting setbacks, but she is a lovely girl.
“This is something I can do. We can all sit and feel sorry for ourselves but if I am actually doing something for the children’s ward at Leeds General Infirmary I feel like I am doing something for her and her parents.”
Mr Harland’s fundraising efforts have so far raised £1,000, but in the five weeks still to go before the event he said they could do with more.
The hospital however is very grateful for his contribution so far.
Charge Nurse Tim Palk at the Leeds Children’s Hospital said: “It’s fantastic that Glyn is taking part in the Great North Swim to raise money for the hospital.
“Mia has been a patient with us for some time, and it’s thanks to the fundraising efforts of people like Glyn that we can continue to provide a quality service and good patient experience to the children on our wards. We wish him all the best for the event.”
Along with her family’s fundraising efforts which, as well as Mr Harland’s two mile swim, include her uncle’s half marathon and her grandma’s coffee mornings, Mia was visited in the hospital by three actors from Emmerdale.
Actor Adam Thomas, who was joined by Natalie Anderson and Tony Audenshaw, said: “Mia’s story really touched us all.
“It’s great that she’s receiving such amazing care at Leeds Children’s Hospital. We all hope she gets better soon.”
Mia’s mum Sammi Ramsey said: “It’s wonderful that some of the cast showed up. It’s not only great for the kids, but it helps raise awareness of all the great work that takes place at the Children’s Hospital.”
The family now plan to continue fundraising, including another coffee morning in December following the successful event last year that raised £3,000.
This money will go to the renal unit on ward L11 at Leeds General Infirmary, to raise awareness about the rare condition affecting her granddaughter’s life and go some way towards thanking the hospital for the work they have done so far for Mia.
Mia’s grandmother Carole Hare said: “It is a very rare condition affecting one in 10m people.
“It is genetic but Mia has congenital nephrotic syndrome, so she will never ever be cured, even when she has a transplant, which she is waiting for now. It attacks her immune system.
“I just can’t thank the hospital enough for what they do on that ward, and we can’t do anything else.
“They do their job and you are in their hands, and we feel like we are doing something to raise awareness of this condition because it is really rare.”
To support Mr Harland in his two mile course at the Great North Swim on June 13 at Windermere, you can go to his donation page at www.justgiving.com/glyn-harland