Published: 06:00, 09 September 2016
Tiny fighter Henry Cooper led the way on a charity walk for premature babies.
Zach’s Little Superheroes Walk was thrown into jeopardy earlier this year when organiser Kirsty Gill was told she would be charged £271 by Medway Council for holding it at her preferred venue of Riverside Country Park in Gillingham.
But her plan to raise money for premature babies like her son Zach was saved when she was told she could use Mote Park in Maidstone for free – and the event went ahead on Sunday.
Joining Zach and other children cared for at the Oliver Fisher Special Care Baby Unit, was Henry Cooper – born 17 weeks early and given only a 15% chance of survival.
Henry and Zach’s parents made contact after Henry hit the headlines in the Medway Messenger last week, which meant Henry was able to lead the walk.
Mrs Gill said: “He had a step forward. I asked them to start the walk for us and he did amazingly well. I don’t think there were many dry eyes. It was lovely to see. We had lots of people come up to us as they were out walking who stopped and donated money. They said what we’re doing was great and put £20 in the bucket.
“It was great, apart from the fact the weather was awful. It rained twice but we set up camp under a tree.”
About 50 people took part in the walk, raising £1,700 for the Oliver Fisher unit at Medway Maritime Hospital, which specialises in care for premature babies.
Mrs Gill, who now has a personal goal to raise £10,000 for the unit, thanked all those who helped out, including business that contributed prizes towards a raffle.
She said: “Mote Park was brilliant. I never heard back from Riverside Park. It’s a shame. We would have had more people come if it had been more local.”