For Aerospace worker Paul Fisher every day with granddaughter Millie is a bonus.
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Describing her as his ‘warrior princess,’ Millie Bell from Leyland has been through quite the fight in her four years.
Millie, who has suffered from a complex genetic condition from birth, needs help to breathe and is fed through a tube.
But little Millie is still battling on.
Earlier this year after being admitted to Derian House Children’s Hospice, in Chorley, Millie defied the odds once more, returning home to be with mum Emma Bell and little brother Oliver, 18 months, after three months of care.
Now 49-year-old grandad Paul, inspired by Millie’s fighting spirit, is training hard to join Team Derian for the Preston 10k run in September and in doing so help raise vital funds for the ‘amazing’ charity.
Paul, also from Leyland, who works as a paint sprayer at BAE Systems in Warton, said: “Whenever I feel like giving up, when I can’t run for one more second or do one more press-up, I just think of Millie,”
“Anything I go through will be nothing compared to what she goes through. She fights every single day of her life, she’s my little warrior princess.”
Millie has received respite at Derian House since 2015 and is also supported by the Derian at Home team. The support to the family – mum Emma, Oliver, grandma Caroline and Paul has meant they have been able to spend quality time together and make special memories.
“Without Derian we wouldn’t be a family,” added Paul.
“When Derian became involved, life got easier and Emma was able to relax. It’s often the little things that make the biggest difference.
“At Derian all the meals are done for Emma and the medical side is taken care of, which means she can just spend time with Millie and her brother Oliver as a normal family.
“It’s an amazing place where nothing is impossible. Taking Millie swimming is something we’ve always wanted to do, but never thought we could.
“At Derian we have been able to use the hydrotherapy pool, which has been brilliant.”
Paul has currently raised around £475 in sponsorship and is now encouraging others to join him on the run, to help boost donations for the charity, which provides respite and end-of-life care for children and young people across the North West.
Fundraising Manager Kevin Bedford, said: “We’d love for people to get involved and run for Team Derian. They can get fit, have fun and, of course, raise money for a great cause.
“It costs almost £4m to keep the doors open at Derian House every year, with only a small percentage of this coming from the government. The remainder comes from fundraising and the generosity of the people of the North West.
“We offer a lifeline to our children and young people, and are grateful for every penny raised by our supporters.”
For anyone who would like to join Team Derian to take part in the Preston 10k on Sunday, 30 September, or the Wigan 10k on Sunday, 9 September, all you have to do is raise £100 for Derian House and the charity will pay for your place.
All Team Derian runners will receive a Derian T-shirt, medal and finishing line goodies, and must be at least 15-years-old to take part.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org