Rotary hopes sleigh bells will help ring in the changes for Solihull family - The Solihull Observer

Rotary hopes sleigh bells will help ring in the changes for Solihull family

Solihull Editorial 24th Nov, 2023   0

THE FAMILIAR jingle of festive bells will be returning to Meriden’s streets next month to raise funds for a Solihull boy.

Father Christmas will be joined on his routes by volunteers and members at The Rotary Club of Meriden as children – and adults – enjoy some pre-Christmas excitement – all in the name of fundraising.

The main beneficiaries of this year’s routes, which run from December 4 to 15, will be Harvey and the Brave Little Soldiers and the Rotary Foundation which is involved with the worldwide eradication of polio.

Harvey Charman was diagnosed with Niemann-Pick disease when he was just six months old.

The rare degenerative and ultimately fatal condition interferes with the breakdown of fats in cells and vital organs like the brain and liver, leading to irreversible damage and dementia-like symptoms.

Harvey’s condition led the family to The Neimann-Pick UK charity which is dedicated to providing practical and emotional support to the individuals and families affected, and with which Harvey’s aunty, Jenny Geere, now works.

And in 2017 Harvey’s family set up Harvey and the Brave Little Soldiers, which works alongside the national charity,

Today, six-year-old Harvey is doing well at Reynalds Cross, a special school in Shirley, and fresh hope for the family has come in the form of a trial drug aimed at slowing the progression of the disease.

Jenny said: “The treatment involves fortnightly visits to the hospital for an IV infusion. Although this is not a cure, we truly believe this treatment has slowed disease progression and are hopeful a cure will be discovered.

“Although the progress of the disease means it is unlikely Harvey will ever walk or talk and will need significant care for the rest of his life, he has grown into a beautiful, loveable little boy. He has such a loving temperament, a contagious laugh and a smile that could light up any room.”

NPUK has been there every step of the way for the whole family from clinic visits to help when applying for necessary building work and have even received grants towards his specialist equipment.

Jenny added: “We have been fortunate to receive the incredible support of Rotary, an organisation known for making a positive impact in communities around the world.

“From the very beginning Rotary saw our vision and embraced our cause with open arms.

“Their ongoing support has been nothing more than remarkable and we want to express our deepest appreciation for their contributions to our journey.”

For more about NPUK click here and about The Rotary Club of Meriden click here.

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