A FAMILY is urging people to help them raise money to thank the Elizabeth Foundation for its work with their deaf son.
Luke and Jo Uttley are taking part in the Great South Run on Sunday and are appealing for people to get behind them.
Their son Max was born prematurely and seriously ill. Shortly after, he was diagnosed as being profoundly deaf.
In 2009, the couple were told their son would stop making noise altogether, leaving the family heartbroken.
After the family’s grandmother read an article about the Elizabeth Foundation, in Cosham, and its work to help deaf children learn how to speak, she contacted the organisation.
Within the first six months of treatment, Max showed great progress and by the time he turned three he was able to attend his first day of school, like many other children across the country.
Mrs Uttley said: ‘We’re the first family to benefit and we definitely want to spread the word of the practice.’
A spokesperson from the foundation said: ‘Max, although shy at first, soon blossomed into a confident, chatty little boy.
‘He continues to go from strength to strength.’
Max, now seven, wears a cochlear implant – a small device that replaces the damaged parts of the inner ear – which sends signals to the brain to help him hear. Once his earpiece is turned off, Max is profoundly deaf.
Luke said: ‘Not a day goes by that we do not thank and appreciate the support we got from the Elizabeth Foundation. Portsmouth has become such a huge part of our lives.’
To thank and raise money for the Elizabeth Foundation, Luke and his son Jake Hughes are cycling from their home in Suffolk to the Elizabeth Foundation, setting off today, hoping to arrive at the facility on Friday at 1pm.
As well as this, Max will take part in the Junior Great South Run on Saturday, while the rest of the family will run the full 10 miles on Sunday.
To donate go to justgiving.com/fundraising/ElizabethFoundationCharityride
In addition, a total of 20 runners will be taking part in the Great South Run in aid of the Elizabeth Foundation.