Family wants to help others

The Ryan Lee Trust Fund committee
The Ryan Lee Trust Fund committee

It is exactly a year since teenager Ryan Lee tragically died.

And last weekend his mum, Deb, hosted a big charity event to raise enough money to turn the Ryan Lee Trust Fund into a registered charity.

Deb launched the trust after her son died of a brain tumour to support families going through similar tragic situations and to raise enough money to buy specialist equipment she says is not readily enough available.

Over 400 people, including family and friends, turned up for the five-a-side football competition, weight and circuit training, X-biking, Zumba classes, disco and stalls at the Kimberley Leisure Centre last Sunday.

The mum-of-three chose a sporting theme because her son loved football and was a Second Dan black belt in karate.

She successfully raised the £5,000 needed for the charity and will now provide specialist equipment for terminally ill children so they can leave hospital and stay at home.

One of the things the charity will provide will be a water genie, which is an inflatable bath that can be blown up around the patient while they are in bed.

Deb, who lives in Eastwood Road, Kimberley, said: “Believe it or not, one of the things we had a problem getting was a swivel seat and they only cost £30. There are certain things that they (the NHS and social services) just don’t provide.

“The commodes they provide are okay for girls but not really boys.

“It’s about making sure these children pass away at home with dignity.”

The 44-year-old said not only do children prefer to be at home with their families, but it also makes it easier for people to visit.

“His friends would not have been able to visit him so freely in hospital,” she said “It’s little things like the car parks are expensive and you can’t have many people around the bed at any one time.”

Ryan, 15, was diagnosed with five aggressive tumours, one of which was on his brain stem and could not be removed. He fell ill while he was on holiday with his parents and within just a few months he could not walk, talk or even eat.

Deb said: “His behaviour had been changing at school before we went away. He was getting detentions which was so unlike him, and we went on holiday and he kept going dizzy.”

During the nine months that he was ill his pals at The Kimberley School raised over £2,000 for children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent in his name.

“He was very very well known at school,” said his mum. “He had loads of friends and he wouldn’t let other kids be bullied. He was the happiest, happiest lad.”

The Ryan Lee trust is made up of three trustees – Deb, the former executive director of nursing at the Derbyshire Royal Infirmary Muriel Dewar and Frances Northeast, a children’s cancer nurse at the Queen’s Medical Centre.

Visit facebook.com/ryanleetrust to find our more about the cause.