Uxbridge BB youngsters criss-cross Thames to raise cash for Shay

This Is Local London: Off we go: BB members and supporters prepare for a busy day Off we go: BB members and supporters prepare for a busy day

AN Uxbridge Boys Brigade company are the latest supporters of a three-year-old disabled boy.

Marc Kenny, 37, a former Royal Mail worker and his wife Jackie set up the Shay Kenny Miracle Trust Fund in 2013 after their council refused to instal a stair lift in their home.

At just 14 months, their youngest son, Shay, was diagnosed with periventricular leukomalacia or PVL, a debilitating illness affecting his vision, speech and mobility. Combined with cerebral palsy and epilepsy, the youngster can suffer up to 30 seizures a day.

“Shay has had a very difficult start to his life,” said Mr Kenny, who has two other sons, Braden, 8, and Darragh, 4. “He does a little bit of unaided walking but it really hurts his muscles.”

On hearing of the family’s fight to give their son a better life, the 1st Uxbridge Boys Brigade Company felt compelled to help.

Captain Paul Edgeworth said: “We try to pick a charity that the boys will appreciate raising money for. Our church caretaker is Shay’s granddad, so this is very close to all of our community.”

A gruelling sponsored bridge cross was devised, Beginning at Lambeth Palace, Mr Edgeworth and the eight boys and one girl spent a long day in London criss-crossing the river by foot, bus and train.

The group clocked up a total of 10 crossings andwill present a cheque to the Kenny family at their annual display in June.

While the exact amount raised is a closely guarded secret, Mr Kenny has been overwhelmed by the boys’ efforts.

“These are a great bunch of children”, he said. “When I found out they were helping Shay I felt very humbled and proud. Their compassion towards a child that needs help is beyond amazing.”

Though the Vale of Aylesbury Housing Trust eventually found the cash for Shay’s stair lift, Mr Kenny is determined the fund-raising will continue.

A recent Zumbathon raised £200 and was organised with the help of local councillor Paul Irwin (UKIP, Stone and Waddesden). Cllr Irwin said he would be happy to keep supporting the family.

“After meeting Shay I found him so charming. There was no way I could walk away and not get involved,” he said.

Cllr Irwin is not the only one impressed by the family’s efforts and Mr Kenny said there had been no shortage of people willing to help out.

Memorabilia from sporting heroes Steve Redgrave and Jamie Carragher has been auctioned off, while a family fete day, complete with bouncy castle, magician and a visit from pro-boxer Nathan Graham, raised a whopping £2,000 for the Trust’s coffers.

Aylesbury MP David Lidington, who is now the owner of a giant duck teddy he won at the fete, said: “I have been very impressed by the fund-raising effort so far.”

The Boys Brigade will present their cheque to the Kenny family on June 28 at Christchurch in Uxbridge at 3pm. To contribute to the fund, visit www.make-a-donation.org/charity/shay-s-miracle-fund

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