The parents of nine-year-old boy from Clitheroe are climbing the National Three Peaks to help raise awareness about severe allergies.
Claire Llewellyn (39) and her partner Darryl Collinson (36) have signed up for the challenge to climb the highest mountains in Great Britain – Ben Nevis, Scafell Pike and Snowdon in 24 hours – with four of their friends on June 17th.
They are raising money for the Anaphylaxis Campaign, which is a cause very close to their hearts.
“Our nine-year-old son Ben suffers from a severe nut allergy,” explained Claire. “Even being near them can trigger his allergy, but if eaten could kill him.”
In autumn last year, Ben, who is in Year Four at St Michael and St John’s RC Primary School in Clitheroe, was rushed to hospital suffering from an anaphylatic attack after eating an ice cream that had been cross contaminated.
This incident and the case of Megan Lee (15) from Oswaldtwistle, who died in hospital on New Year’s Day after suffering a severe allergic reaction after eating a takeaway, has strengthened the couple’s resolve to raise funds to support the work of the Anaphylaxis Campaign.
“Food allergies are hugely on the rise and we are doing this challenge to try to raise awareness and money for the Anaphylaxis Campaign which works very hard to educate schools, businesses and the public,” added Claire.
Fellow pupils at Ben’s primary school supported the cause on Friday by taking part in a Wear Orange Day. Orange is the Anaphylaxis Campaign’s colour.
Claire and Darryl, of Garnett Road, also have a 14-year-old son Joe, who attends St Augustine’s RC High School, and a daughter Beatrice (seven), who goes to St Michael and St John’s RC Primary School.
The couple have been in training for the challenge and earlier this year completed the Yorkshire Three Peaks challenge climbing 25 miles in 10 hours and 42 minutes.
Ben, who was diagnosed with a severe nut allergy at a young age, has been hospitalised several times after eating cross-contaminated food.
Staff at his primary school are very supportive and adhere to strict allergy guidelines, while Ben has with him two EpiPens – auto-injectors for the emergency treatment of anaphylaxis – at all times.
“Even airborne allergens cause Ben’s face to swell and for his skin to become very uncomfortable and itchy so there’s always a risk,” said Claire, who is a librarian at St Augustine’s RC High School.
“We just want to get the word out there and educate people that Ben and others like him don’t just suffer a sore throat or an upset tummy from the allergy. It can actually kill him! There is a real difference between having a food allergy compared to having a food sensitivity.”
To make a donation to Claire and Darryl visit: www.justgiving.com/thenutters2017