Rachel and Sam Yates set up Alfie’s Fund for their son Alfie, who was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy in 2009 when he was three years old. They hope to raise as much money as possible to fund research into potential treatments.
When Alfie was little, Rachel and Sam noticed he was slow to crawl and didn’t walk until he was 18 months old. They were not immediately concerned as he was still within the expected spectrum for his age, however, when Alfie was three and couldn’t jump or climb stairs like his friends could, they were referred to a paediatrician. After a wait of four months,Alfie was diagnosed with Duchenne muscular dystrophy, and their ‘world came crashing down’.
As Rachel and Sam adjusted to the devastating news of Alfie’s diagnosis, they were thankful for the support they received from their clinical team, family and friends. They put their house on the market and looked to adapt their new home for Alfie’s care.
Although it was a painful time, Alfie’s strength of character inspired us to keep going through every difficult moment.
Knowing there was no time to waste, his whole family threw themselves into fundraising for Muscular Dystrophy UK. Since they began, they have raised £8,000 to fund research into potential treatments. Rachel and Sam hope to reach out to other parents who are in the same position as they were, to provide support and encouragement for those who have just received a diagnosis.
Alfie, now eight years old, loves sport and is determined to keep playing for as long as he can. Rachel told us about how proud she is of her son, saying:
Alfie is a determined young chap and is keen to experience all things possible – he played in a hockey tournament last year, was a mascot for Leeds Carnegie Rugby Club at the end of last season (something he was keen to do whilst he could still walk on the pitch himself), he climbed a mountain in the Lakes in April and walked part of the Pembrokeshire coast line in the summer.
He loves playing tennis, rugby and football with his little brother. But he knows that his time for playing these sports is limited and he is preparing himself for dependency on an electric wheelchair. We are incredibly proud of him and when we have a ‘wobble’, we look at his strength of character and that inspires us.
How you can help
Donate to Alfie’s Fund by going to his Just Giving page
Setting up a family fund like Alfie’s Fund is a great way to fundraise for Muscular Dystrophy UK to keep our vital research moving forward. Find out more about our family funds.