John Alcock, Customer Care Manager for Wates Living Space West, is undertaking a 100 mile cycling challenge to raise money for his nephew, Dominic McCloughin, who suffers from various medical conditions including Autism and Tourettes, to own his own trike, enabling him to go cycling with his Uncle John and cousin, Luke.
Dom, who is aged 8 and only started speaking 2 years ago after being born with a hole in his heart and having breathing difficulties (meaning he had to have several operations including a tracheotomy fitted for the first five years of his life), said to his Uncle John, "I really want to ride a bike like you and come out with you on bike rides."
John is now training and aiming to raise £765 to buy the specialist trike for Dom so he can be like everyone else his age and enjoy cycling. Any money raised over this amount will go towards the Autistic Society that has supported Dom throughout his lifetime.
Dominic McCloughlin is an eight year old boy who, in his short life so far, had already undergone more troublesome periods than most people do in a lifetime. Dom has severe Autism which affects his daily life as he sees day-to-day tasks differently to others, and he attends a special needs school in Knowsley.
At a very premature 26 weeks, Dominic was born into this world weighing just 2lb 2oz. Extremely poorly and in a critical condition, he was subjected to a 14 week stay in Liverpool Women's Hospital in their Neonatal unit. During this time, Dom's health was classed as 'critical' and doctors advised his Mum to expect the worst. By way of a miracle, he eventually stabilised and the family brought him home on Valentine's Day weighing a healthy 7lb 11oz.
Unfortunately, the joy of having Dom home didn't last long as he soon became very unwell and stopped breathing during the early hours of the morning. Dom was taken to Alder Hey Prediatric Intensive Care Unit for another lengthy stay. The doctors found that Dom's heart hadn't formed properly and he had an open duct, suffering from a narrowing of the airway as a result. Many operations followed including the fitting of a trachostomy to help him to breathe. He had to have 24/7 care and careful monitoring, and the trachostomy remained for nearly 6 years.
When he was four, Dom was also diagnosed with Autism and Tourettes. He didn't learn how to speak until he was nearly six years old (prior to this, he used sign language). His Autism means that his behaviour can be challenging sometimes and he finds balance and coordination tasks a problem, which can make him feel frustrated. He finds it hard to make friends too.
Dom is desperate to have a bike of his own that he can ride like other children his age - but conventional bikes wouldn't be suitable for him. The special needs bike (specially adapted for Dom) costs £765, money his Mum (who is a single mother and struggling to cope) just cannot afford, so Dom's Uncle John has decided to undertake this 100 mile bike ride to raise enough money to buy his nephew the bike and finally be able to take Dom out cycling with him.
Please give whatever you can afford to make this little boy's dream of having his own bike, finally come true.