Fitness enthusiasts raise £1,800 in memory of courageous little Widnes boy

Runcorn and Widnes World: Jon and Jenny Towell with James McFayden, Paul Whitley (Harry’s dad), Jessica McFayden and Tom Kelly Jon and Jenny Towell with James McFayden, Paul Whitley (Harry’s dad), Jessica McFayden and Tom Kelly

FITNESS enthusiasts have raised £1,800 for Claire House Children’s Hospice in memory of a courageous little Widnes boy.

Harry Whitley suffered from a very rare epilepsy syndrome called ‘Migrating Partial Epilepsy of Infancy’.

He often suffered more than 100 seizures a day and passed away when he was only five, in 2008.

His parents Denise Whitley, aged 42, and her husband, Paul, aged 41, belong to a new Widnes gym, JT Fit in Waterloo Road, Widnes.

Founders, personal trainers and fitness coaches Jenny and Jon Towell and volunteers completed 1,000 body weight exercises called ‘burpees’ in a gruelling challenge to help other children with life threatening conditions.

Jenny, aged 38, from Farnworth, said: “When we found out that Harry had passed away at such a young age, we wanted to do something. Claire House needs £6,500 per day to function.”

Harry’s mum, Denise, of Sycamore Avenue, said: “Everyone at the gym has been brilliant. We’d like to thank them for all their support.

“Harry was a little love. He couldn’t move his limbs or speak but he was able to communicate to us.

“We travelled all over the world with him. We took him to America and we had him floating in the Mediterranean, visiting France and Switzerland.

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“The hospice took the weight off our shoulders. The quality of life is so precious. They do little things like cover the walls with hand and feet prints.”

Harry has inspired his brother Joshua, aged 24, to develop a career in medical research, his sister, Jessica, aged 19, is a children’s nurse and his sister, Emily, aged 19, hopes to become a special needs teacher.

Denise added: “Harry had such an impact on so many peoples’ lives. We’d have him back in a heart beat.”

His family is organising a charity ball at The Hillcrest Hotel in Widnes on April 19, 2014, when Harry would have been celebrating his 11th birthday.

 

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