The managing director of a Huddersfield-based law firm born with a hole in her heart has raised over £1,600 for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.
Emma Pearmaine, MD at Ridley & Hall, raised the funds by completing a 75-mile bike ride between her firm’s offices in Huddersfield, Leeds, Pontefract and Barnsley.
Ms Pearmaine had heart surgeries as a child in the early 1970s and has continued to receive intermittent medical support from local heart specialists ever since.
Commenting on the challenge, she explained: “Having a child with a hole in the heart in the early 1970s was a real challenge and my parents coped incredibly well.
“My dad died last Christmas, and when clearing his house, we found letters exchanged between my mum and other mums she had met on the wards while I was receiving medical care. It was the 1970s equivalent of a social media support group.
She continued: “I grew up in Scunthorpe where my dad was a steelworker, and my mum wasn’t working when I was very little as she was caring for me.
“My treatment was managed by Sheffield General Hospital. My parents didn’t have a lot of money and the practicalities of their situation were stressful and challenging. Travel to and from the hospital cost money, and they couldn’t afford for my dad to take any time off work or for him to stay over whenever I was admitted.
“The parents supported each other the best they could emotionally and practically, and finding and reading the correspondence between them was very touching. That’s why I decided to fundraise for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund.
“The support they give to families makes the difference in circumstances where medical needs are met, but family needs remain a struggle. I have great admiration and respect for my parents, and it’s a real privilege to be able to fundraise to help other parents in the same situation.”
The JustGiving page in support of Emma’s bike challenge remains open for donations and can be accessed here.