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Bexley couple to hold children's hospital fundraiser

PUBLISHED: 17:01 22 May 2012

L-r: Katie, Benjamin and Toby Ballard

L-r: Katie, Benjamin and Toby Ballard

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A Bexley couple is holding a jubilee funday to raise money for the hospital which saved their two-year-old son's life.

Benjamin Ballard was born in January 2010 with a range of health problems and his parents, Toby, 40, and Katie, 31, were given the devastating news. They were told their son would not reach his first birthday.

He was born with a form of meningitis and cardiomyopathy, a serious heart muscle disease, but was saved thanks to the work of staff at Evelina Children’s Hospital, based at St Thomas’ Hospital in London.

Benjamin is now thriving at 27-months-old.

Mrs Ballard said: “The entire team at Evelina fought tirelessly against the odds to give Benji the very best care and medical attention and have since supported us in our fundraising.

“Our goals are to raise money and let people know about the hospital.”

The couple, who live on Bexley High Street, have since held a series of events to increase awareness of the hospital and raise money.

The jubilee event takes place on June 3 at the couple’s home from noon, and will include a football tournament, tug-of-war, live music, cakes, BBQ and a visit from the fire brigade.

Mr and Mrs Ballard first raised money for the hospital on Benjamin’s first birthday in January last year, a date he was not expected to reach.

They also held a summer funday last June as well as a charity auction, casino and cocktail night in February of this year.

The couple have raised £13,000 in total.

Mrs Ballard said: “Since our journey with Evelina began we have been privileged to meet some inspiring families who’s lives have been helped by the hospital.

“People have been so generous in supporting our events and many even ask us for the date of the next one so they can keep their diary free.”

The couple own and run a pilates and physiotherapy business which spans Kent and London, including a site on Bourne Road in Bexley.

Tickets cost £10 for adults, £5 for teenagers an under 13s go free.

For ticket information call 01322 552299 or visit www.pilatesandtherapy.co.uk.

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