Leicestershire charity reaches £1.5 million donation milestone on landmark anniversary

By Thomas Carter

Leicestershire-based charity Alex’s Wish has received a remarkable total of £1.5 million in donations since its inception, with the achievement coming on the organisation’s tenth anniversary.

Set up in 2012 by parents Emma and Andy Hallam following their son Alex’s diagnosis of Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), the charity has helped to fund several ground-breaking research initiatives, all with the aim of finding a cure to the condition.

DMD is an aggressive muscle wasting condition that affects 1 in every 3,500 boys born, weakening the heart and lungs as a result, and the charity has worked to provide support for those in need.

Looking back to the charity’s beginnings, Emma said: “When we got the news that our little boy had been diagnosed with DMD it was devastating, and to make things more difficult there were not a lot of treatments available besides steroids.

“After trying to find out more about the condition, my husband and I started raising money for a couple of charities, and it was at this point we looked into starting our own.

“I knew I’d absolutely love to do it, so we spoke with our friends and family about how we wanted to raise awareness of the condition and create a platform to help those in the community.

“From there Alex’s Wish was born – our son’s wish to find a cure for Duchenne.”

The Alex’s Wish Board of Trustees at their annual Supporters’ Lunch last year (Credit: Alex’s Wish)

Chris Everard, vice-chair of the Trustees Board, was delighted with the charity’s success. He said: “The £1.5 million mark doesn’t really feel real. Having worked with Emma and Andy for nearly five years, it seems such an incredible and awfully large amount of money. 

“Hundreds upon hundreds of events, promotions, sponsorships and charitable giving by people and organisations have led to this treatment and everyone of them has made a difference.

“The progress of the charity brings a sense of momentum and achievement, plus being able to give back something in such a positive way is always a delight.”

With their fundraising events varying from marathon cycle rides to supercar events, it is the sense of community, Chris insisted, that is key to the charity’s success.

Mr Everard continued: “What makes Alex’s Wish different is quite simple – the people. 

“It is the passion of Emma, the cold hard determination of Andy, the willingness, innovative nature of the trustees board. 

“It is the tireless work that (fundraising managers) Zoe and Heidi put in every day. It is the joy that people feel when they come in contact with the charity and are able to help in some way.”

Zoe Edwards, fundraising and events manager for the charity, added: “When I look back and think about what we have achieved and where we have come over that time, it is unbelievable.

“The events, campaigns, awareness and support have grown substantially, enabling us to grow our fundraising and make a bigger impact.

“The change in the scientific landscape over that time has also been incredible, with the development of gene therapy and technological advancements to make living with Duchenne easier. It is a huge privilege to be part of.”

To find out more about Alex’s Wish and get involved with the charity go to: www.alexswish.co.uk

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