The parents of Oliver Saunders are lacing up their running shoes for us.

On the 10th March, Nicole and Dan Saunders from Buckley will be joined by old school friends to take on the MBNA Chester 10k for our hospices, a cause very close to their hearts.

Nicole and Dan’s son, Oliver was born prematurely at 30 weeks and lives with an extremely rare genetic condition DYRK1A Syndrome and is also blind.

Cheer squad: Nicole at home with daughter Nancy (left) and son Oliver (right) who attends our hospices

Helping balance family life

Oliver attends both Tŷ Gobaith in the Conwy Valley for respite stays and Hope House in Oswestry for hydrotherapy sessions in their pool, something the Saunders family are very grateful for.

Nicole said: “Oliver loves it at the hospices and the staff are all getting to know his little ways.

“It really helps us as a family with things like life events and gives us a chance to recharge a little bit.

“We can also do things with our daughter, Nancy that we may logistically not be able to do with Oliver’s wheelchair.

“The hospice stays help us balance things out as a working family.”

Oliver will soon turn five and will be visiting Hope House’s swimming pool with his family to celebrate together doing something he really enjoys and benefits from.

The Saunders family enjoy a hydrotherapy session at Hope House with son Oliver (right)

Wanting to give something back to the charity, Nicole mentioned the idea of doing a fundraising run to Dan.

“It turned out that Darren Wilcock, a friend of Dan’s had already signed-up for the Chester 10k to raise money for the hospices and that’s what sparked it.

“There will be a group of eight of us all running together, old school friends and their partners,” said Nicole.

Nicole and Dan will be joined by Darren Wilcock, Rachel Turner, Robbie Davies, Stef Bradfield, Kate Tilston and Scott Davies.

Giving something back

They will be cheered over the line by both Oliver and Nancy with grandparents and have been getting fitter to boost their efforts.

“I have a walking treadmill in the house and have joined a gym. The boys have done some evening runs outside in preparation.

“I think it’ll be tough, a mixture of running and walking.

“It feels good to give something back and say thank you for everything they’ve done for us and hundreds of other families,” said Nicole.

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