Christopher Cooper takes on….THE SAHARA!!

Wow, in around 5 weeks, Mae’s Godfather (Christopher Cooper – the man, the myth, the legend!) will be embarking on his journey to the sands, to take on the gruelling multi-stage adventure through a landscape in one of the world’s most inhospitable climates on the planet – the Sahara Desert! Yes, thats right, the Sahara Desert (because cycling from John O’Groats to Lands End and tackling the Helvellyn Triathlon wasn’t quite challenging enough)….. And it’s all for the love of Mae…

Mae and godfather, Chris

Mae and godfather, Chris

In Chris’ words, “She’s the perfect motivation for sticking to the daily training plan and reason to grin and bear the aching muscles, fatigue and brutal blisters that the race will bring”.

On Saturday 8th April Chris will be standing under a start banner somewhere in the Moroccan Sahara. Ahead of him will be 156 miles of sand dunes, some reaching 1000m in height, desert tracks across challenging terrain, including salt-pans, dried river beds, rocky plains, jebals (the Moroccan word for ‘mountains’) and six days of 50+ degree heat as he takes on the ‘toughest footrace on earth’, the Marathon Des Sables (MDS).

The Marathon des Sables is a 6 day race and there is only one rest day! The distance is 156 miles, with the longest stage being around 55 miles. The French Commissaires provide you with water and flapping leaky tents, but as for the rest, you’re on your own. Self navigating and carrying well over 12 kilos of food and kit is all paart of the deal!

”The MDS is a rare antidote to the oh-so congenial lives that we tend to lead in the West. It is an extreme version of ‘I’m a Celebrity, Get Me Out of Here’ – though with more pain, more heat, more thirst and just that little bit more deprivation.” Bill Coles, Author and Journalist.

So, you’re probably wondering why?

A 1-hour physiotherapy session for Mae costs £60, so it is Chris’ aim to raise funds which will cover Mae’s physio costs for one session per week, for a year, in the knowledge that it will help her immeasurably.

We ask that you give anything you can to support Chris and this great cause. In supporting Chris you are ultimately supporting Mae. Every donation gets Chris another step closer to his goal! Every £1 adds up to supporting Mae in her independence and we are so grateful for your support.

Chris will train, and will finish the race, but it’s your donations that really make the difference – and the difference those donations will make is what this is really about.

Please check out the link below to read more about Christopher’s mission

Just a reminder…..he’s running in the Desert! With all this! Please donate if you are able. Many thanks x

The kit Chris will carry! Please support his efforts at

The kit Chris will carry! Please support his efforts at

CELEBRATE Mae’s 3rd SDR Anniversary with us!

This Saturday, 28th January 2017, marks the third anniversary of Mae’s SDR surgery – where has the time gone?!

We always celebrate Mae’s surgery day as a marker of the huge milestone it was in offering her a door to independence. We have seen her show true grit since her surgery, and a consistent detrmination to develop strength and walking skills. We are now resuming our fundraising to support Mae’s intensive therapy courses, required to keep her mobile and build her strength.

MP fitness 6

At present we are seeing the true value of consistency with Mae’s therapy. Unfortunately Mae broke her arm before Christmas and, due to the weight of her pot and not being able to weight-bear on it, she has been unable to use her walker, or attend her therapy. She has just returned to school today, after 7 weeks away, and we will be resuming her therapy sessions to get her up and about. She has been quite frustrated to be immobile, and have to rely on using her wheelchair each day, and is looking forward to her normal routine.

2017 Jan fracture

We are holding our hand-made king-size quilt grand draw on Saturday at 5pm, in Cantley, and coupling this with an Open House (from 10am to 5pm) where Phoenix Trading greeting cards and stationery can also be bought in aid of Hope4Mae. All are welcome – please contact Amy on 07572 878 679 or Sarah on 07587 245 658 for details of the event or to buy raffle tickets.

quilt 3

We hope you can join us celebrate Mae’s progress!

Our Mission Statement

Since Mae’s successful SDR surgery in 2014 the mission of our fundraising has shifted to ongoing rehabilitation costs. Our aim is to fund Mae’s therapy costs, which maximise function, develop her mobility and will assist her independence as she grows older.

Although we have seen, and shared with you, vast improvement in Mae’s ability to stand and begin to walk as a result of her SDR surgery, the procedure is still not recognised in the UK and, as such, the operation and necessary follow-up is not supported by the NHS. Families throughout the UK, like our own, continue to privately fund the operation, and considerable ongoing therapy costs.

This video helps to explain Mae’s ongoing journey:

The importance of post-SDR Therapy, from MP Fitness

We continue to have weekly individual Physiotherapy sessions for Mae, to focus on her exercises to build strength and stamina in her legs and maintain range of movement. These are not funded by the NHS, so this is something we have to fund privately, at around £4000 per annum. Intensive residential therapy has helped Mae progress in her independence but this costs approximately £10,000 per annum.

Mae attends Riding for the Disabled lessons to improve her trunk control and muscle strength. These are personally funded by the family at £500 pa.

Mae has regular swimming sessions, which is an excellent all-round exercise, to consolidate all of the other therapies. This is also personally funded by the family at £500 pa.

We are always happy to answer any of your fund-raising questions regarding Hope4Mae and open to your suggestions as to how you can continue to assist us in supporting Mae’s therapy. Thanks so much for your support!

Mae walks with Dr Park - with a little help from 'Betsy'!

Mae walks with Dr Park – with a little help from ‘Betsy’!

To offer support by way of a sponsored event, fund-raiser or advertising Mae’s cause, please contact us at [email protected]