A Surbiton IT company has walked almost three million steps in a month to raise funds for six-year-old Mia May from Maidstone who has a genetic disorder which leaves her blind and unable to speak or walk.

Eight staff members at Viadex took part in individual sponsored walks during their March challenge smashing their 10,000 steps a day target – raising around £1,300 for little Mia May. They also held a raffle which raised £500.

Since Mia May’s condition was discovered following MRI scans at Great Ormond Street when she was ten months old, her parents Nick McDonald, 40, and Joanna Woollard, 36, have been tirelessly working with fundraising charity Tree of Hope to fundraise to pay for private physiotherapy and hydrotherapy to improve her strength and movement.

Six months ago the family welcomed Labrador dog Bouncer into their home after fundraising for a support dog for Mia from charity Supporting Paws. Bouncer is still continuing his training and should eventually be able to help calm Mia down when she becomes frustrated, as well as providing companionship.

Commercial director at Viadex Brian Dunleavy said: ‘We have had the pleasure of working with Mia May’s father Nick for over five years now and he has become part of our extended Viadex family.

‘Throughout this time we were aware of the situation with Mia May. As part of our annual commitment to fundraising and community social responsibility initiatives, we decided to commit all our efforts this year to help Mia May’s parents Jo and Nick with their fundraising project through Tree of Hope. The Viadex team are so pleased to see how Mia May has enjoyed having Bouncer around and we are continuing to raise funds throughout the year to support Mia.’

Nick, who works in IT sales said: ‘Bouncer is still a puppy really but he already knows that while he can be quite boisterous with myself and Joanna, he needs to be gentle with Mia. She also needs a lot of attention – especially since she hasn’t been at school so much lately – so we’re hoping he will be good company for her too.’

The family have raised thousands through sales of donations from local companies and events such as sponsored Tough Mudder races and triathlons by Nick’s colleagues at Fujitsu in Bracknell.

Nick added: ‘The need for fundraising is constant as Mia May gets bigger. There are adaptations to the house we need to make, we want to get her a special bath as she loves being in the bath, and a new bike trailer as we used to take her out on our bikes but she is too big for it now. Plus, once Covid restrictions ease, we want to continue with physio to give her the best quality of life possible.’

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‘We are always grateful for donations to Mia May’s fund, or for items that we can sell or raffle. We are incredibly grateful to Viadex for their support – it means a lot.’

Tree of Hope CEO Gill Gibb said: ‘Corporate support is always a huge boost to the families we support – both in an increase to their funds but also because they feel that more people are behind them. We are very grateful to Viadex for choosing to support the McDonald family in this way.’

Children’s charity Tree of Hope helps families fundraise for children like Mia with healthcare needs and provides charity status to benefit from gift aid, corporate support whilst also providing donor reassurance. To donate to Mia May’s fund, visit https://www.treeofhope.org.uk/mia-mcdonald/

For more information about Supporting Paws visit https://www.facebook.com/assistancesupportingpaws/

For more information about Viadex visit https://www.viadex.com/https://www.viadex.com/

By Ed

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