Tyler helps raise thousands for charity

Tyler McCusker with mum Jennifer Graham. INNT 07-437-RM
Tyler McCusker with mum Jennifer Graham. INNT 07-437-RM

BALLYCLARE woman Jennifer Graham has thanked all those who have helped her and her four-year-old son raise more than £3,500 for the Children’s Heartbeat Trust.

Jennifer and her son, Tyler McCusker, are backing the charity’s Hands Up campaign to save children’s cardiac services at the Clark Clinic at the Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children.

Tyler, who was born with hypoplastic left heart syndrome - a rare heart defect - has been busy over the past few months helping his mum raise much-needed cash for the Trust, which helps provide equipment and resources for the Clark Clinic.

Following successful street collections and bag packing events, Jennifer and Tyler have increased their fundraising total over the past couple of weeks with two more well-supported events.

Nine fearless family and friends completed a sponsored abseil down the Europa Hotel in Belfast on February 24, and on Saturday (March 2) the Comrades Club hosted an evening of entertainment with hypnotist Gareth Fulton followed by a disco and an auction.

Thanking everyone who has contributed to their fundraising campaign, Jennifer said: “Saturday night at the Comrades Club was fantastic. We got a good crowd out and managed to raise £1,085 on the night which was really good.

“We’re still waiting for some of the sponsorship to come in from the abseil, but so far the total is sitting at £3,551 which is absolutely fantastic. People have been very generous.”

Tyler, who is a pupil at Ballyclare Nursery School, had to undergo a lifesaving operation at Birmingham Children’s Hospital when he was just three days old. He has been back to Birmingham for further procedures since, and is expected to undergo more major surgery in the near future.

“He has to get tests done to see if he’s fit for surgery, but he should get his next operation within the next few months,” Jennifer added.

Anyone who would like to support Jennifer and Tyler in their fundraising effort can make a donation online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/tylersheartbeat