Coffee shop's gingerbread men boost family's fundraising for little boy

FAMILY: Parents Alex and Dan with two-year-old Felix in Coffee #1 in Penarth (9818429)

CHARITY: 50p of each gingerbread man sold in Coffee #1 in Penarth will go towards Felix Forbes (9818514)

First published in News by

A PENARTH family have received a massive boost to their fundraising efforts for their disabled son after Coffee #1 chose them as their designated charity for a quarter of the year.

Two-year-old Felix Forbes was born with a rare genetic brain disorder called lissencephaly and miller-dieker syndrome.

The condition meant that during pregnancy his brain didn’t develop properly and instead of the full six layers a normal functioning brain has, he was born with only four.

His parents Dan and Alex were told he would never be able to walk or talk and that most children born with his condition wouldn’t see past infancy.

But since then he has continued to defy medical expectations and continues to smile, enjoy life and surprise his medical team.

His parents are now fundraising for him to go through therapy so that he can do things like roll over, hold a toy and even support himself and sit on his own.

Their fundraising has been boosted by Coffee #1 selecting GoFelix as its chosen charity for the next quarter of the year (between August and November), with half of the money raised from gingerbread men sold during that time going towards specials equipment and therapy for Felix.

Coffee #1 shops across Wales, including on Windsor Road in Penarth, and the south west of England will have pictures of Felix and his logo on their gingerbread men jars, with every 50p of each gingerbread man sold going towards the GoFelix charity.

Mum Alex Forbes, 33, said that they were thrilled when Coffee #1 contacted them and that the money raised would make a massive difference.

Alex, who works as a medical rep, has recently taken a break from work so that she could take Felix to all his hospital appointments and therapy sessions.

“It’s hard to juggle work when he’s having six or seven seizures a day,” she said.

“Even without his emergency hospital admissions he still has two or three hospital appointments a week.”

Dan, who works as a personal trainer, added that it was the simple things that made life difficult for little Felix, who attends Hazelhurst Nursery.

“It’s little things that become barriers, like car seats that wouldn’t fit him as he can’t hold his head up,” he said.

“It’s difficult and expensive looking for specialist equipment that he can fit into.”

He added: “The main thing is to get him sitting up on his own and holding his own head up. We are trying to get him as much independence for as long as we can.

“We just want to improve his quality of life.”

Dan, 32, added that little Felix loved going to nursery and being around other children.

“He’s not really into toys, the only thing he’s interested in is people and noises,” he said.

“If he has that with kids he loves it and it’s nice to see that.”

He added: “Six months ago he giggled for the first time and when he’s so happy like that it’s the most amazing thing.

“Even though he doesn’t talk we can connect to a degree.

“We have our own language with him.

“We know when he’s happy, upset or feeling cheeky.”

Their fundraising has already been boosted by their friends taking part in a sponsored trek up the three highest peaks in the Brecon Beacons, people choosing their charity for the Ice Bucket Challenge, and Alex’s brother running the Cardiff Half Marathon in aid of Felix.

Their friends have also set up on online donation page for them too.

“Our friends have been amazing and we don’t know how to thank them all,” said Alex

“We have been blown away by everyone’s donations.”

Gingerbread men in aid of GoFelix can be bought from Coffee #1 in Penarth and across Wales and south west England. They are £1 each with 50p going towards GoFelix.

You can also sponsor him at http://www.treeofhope.org.uk/go-felix/

If you would like to fundraise in aid of Felix contact asginn1@hotmail.com

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