Three Peaks Challenge raises £15,000 for Derian House

By Tim Aldred

31 Jul 2023

Derian House Three Peaks Challenge

A walking challenge which drew 80 participants and more than 100 supporters has raised £15,000 for Derian House Children’s Hospice.

The Three Peaks Challenge was orchestrated by James Macaree, managing director of Burnley-based Ring Stones, who undertook the walk to celebrate the life of his son, Jake.

Derian House Children’s Hospice began supporting Jake, who was born with a rare genetic condition that affects only one in 100,000 children, when he was just two weeks old, as well as providing support for his family.

Jake spent his final days at the hospice and laid at rest in one of the hospice’s Sunflower Rooms.

James, along with Jake's mother Lauren, older brother Lewis and 80 more hikers, undertook the trek over Pen-y-Ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough in the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge.

James said: “All of this was for Jake. The idea began with Ring Stones, but several other companies of the Calico Group took part and the event just got bigger.

"There were 80 of us hiking but another 100 people came along to support us and hand out refreshments. It was a very emotional day for us all. It was incredible to see everyone come together for Jake.”

The Chorley-based children’s hospice cares for 400 babies, children and families each year.

Ann-Marie Fishwick, community fundraiser at Derian House, said: "What a perfect way to remember an incredibly brave little boy.

"Thank you to Lauren, James, and the team from Ring Stones and the Calico Group for going above and beyond – not only have they raised vital funds to care for families like theirs, but they have also raised awareness of what we do and the impact it has.

“While care is free for families, it will cost £6m to run services at Derian House in 2023. We rely on the generosity of our kind-hearted supporters for 70p in every £1.”

Jake

Jake Macaree was born with a rare genetic condition that affects only one in 100,000 children.

Lauren Macaree said: "Jake was diagnosed with Lissencephaly, a set of rare brain disorders where the whole or parts of the surface of the brain appear smooth. Because of this, Jake suffered many seizures and was in and out of hospital during his short life.

“At Derian House we were able to swim together in the hydrotherapy pool. Jake loved water. He had so much joy when in the pool and it meant that we could spend quality time as a family. We had fun at playgroup and in the messy play room. We loved music therapy, relaxing in the sensory room and watching films together in the cinema. We even went on holiday in one of Derian’s holiday lodges. All of those moments are so important for us now.

“We spent Jake's final days at the hospice and there was honestly nowhere else we would have rather been. Jake rested in a hospice Sunflower Room and we had more time to say goodbye. Casts of Jake’s hands, fingerprints and feet were made for us – so that we could remember him.

"Derian helped us make special memories that you wouldn't get anywhere else. At the worst possible time in our lives, Derian was there. Once you are part of Derian you are a part for life. They throw their arms around you if you want it. And if you don't, it's there when you are ready - nothing is ever too much.”

When asked about the Three Peaks Challenge, Lauren said: “It was an exciting day. Someone described it as feeling as sense of “togetherness” – which I felt was right. All of those people came together for Jake.

“The challenge was hell, but we did it. We did it for Jake – our beautiful boy and amazing little fighter. Towards the end of the hike we felt very emotional. My mum brought Lilly to meet us at the end. There was no better feeling than that. Thank you to everyone that did it with us, who supported us. Thank you for your donations to the charity that cared for our family. It all means the world to us.”

Enjoyed this? Read more from Tim Aldred

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