A FAMILY’S dream to open a sensory unit in memory of their baby daughter will soon become a reality after they smashed their fundraising target.
Madison Murray was diagnosed with muscle wasting Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) when she was born in November. The family were told she could live to just six months, but she sadly died in her parents’ arms at just 17 weeks old in March.
Just eight weeks later, her parents Laura Kendall and Jason Murray have smashed the £20,000 target they set to open the unit to help other children with similar disorders who benefit from bright lights and sounds – just like their daughter did.
In total they have raised a staggering £27,000 - with another £10,000 already pledged to come in from future events.
Miss Kendall, of Stockingate, South Kirkby, said: “It has only been two short months since we started fundraising, so to get even more than we aimed for is just out of this world.
“People have been so generous and have just kept coming up with fundraising ideas and we are so grateful.”
They started their mission with fundraisers at local pubs and after their vision, Madison’s Dream, featured in the pages of the Express, the local community rallied behind them.
All parts of the community have helped raise cash, from school children to supermarkets and pubs.
Last week Minsthorpe Community College pupils raised £500 each for Madison’s Dream and the Laila Milly Foundation, by holding a non-uniform day.
And the fundraising will continue - as all extra cash will be used to fund the running of the sensory unit.
On Saturday 19 of Miss Kendall’s friends will take part in a sky-dive in Scunthorpe – and so far sponsorship pledges have reached an impressive £10,000.
Madison’s father, Jason Murray will also take part in a 13-mile log run on Saturday, carrying an 8ft log around the Express area.
Miss Kendall said people as far away from Sheffield have taken their dream on board and helped fund the project.
She said: “It’s quite daunting now it’s actually becoming a reality, but it is something we will make a success.
“Once it is finished, it will be such a massive achievement.”
They aim to open the room at family-friendly hours to enable people to visit when it’s best for them.
Miss Kendall said: “We want families to be able to go when it suits them so will try to open in the evenings and on weekends.”
The log run takes place from Minsthorpe Community college gym at 10am and ends at Pontefract Park.
See next week’s Express to see the round up of the weekend’s events.