why take on the taff trail cycle challenge for tŷ hafan

Saying goodbye to their precious son was heart-breaking for Jen and Andrew Evans from Cardiff.
Since two-and-a-half-year-old Oscar died from a rare genetic condition, the couple have been on a fundraising mission to keep their little boy’s memory alive.
“When he was born, everything was fine. He was feeding and doing really well,” said Andrew.

Andrew and team

“When we found out about his condition, we were hoping they had made a mistake”

Oscar

“One Wednesday afternoon when he was six months old, Jen picked him up and he was all floppy and white so she rang an ambulance.

““You think about taking your son to the football or having your first pint with him one day, but knowing that wouldn’t happen was heart-breaking.”

The family first visited Tŷ Hafan when Oscar was 15 months old.

“The first thing we thought when we walked through the doors was, wow! The staff knew exactly what to say and they made us feel loved,” said Andrew.

Oscar adored Stay and Play sessions, being sung to and using the hydro pool at the hospice.

A day before Oscar’s second birthday, his condition deteriorated rapidly and the couple were told to prepare for the worst, so they brought him to Tŷ Hafan. Two weeks into their stay and with his condition gradually improving, they were able to take him home.

“He was fine for the next six months, and then, all of a sudden, he was gone,” said Andrew

Oscar

“He was fine for the next six months, and then, all of a sudden, he was gone,” said Andrew.

Their Tŷ Hafan Family Support Practitioner Hannah Williams helped the family organise Oscar’s funeral and his celebration of life which was held at Cardiff City Stadium.

“We sang Mr Tumble at his funeral and we released 12 balloons outside the stadium as it was his birthday on the 12th. One of the proudest moments for me, was walking him though the chapel. Jen carried him into the world and I carried him out.”

And Tŷ Hafan’s support will be available to Jen and Andrew for however long they need it.

“Hannah has been absolutely amazing. I really don’t know how we would have coped without her support,” said Andrew.

Within five months of fundraising, Jen and Andrew had raised more than £10,000 for Tŷ Hafan. This year, Oscar’s Army will be taking part in the Taff Trail Challenge for the third time, in memory of their little boy.

“We just want to keep his memory going and it’s a way to give something back to Tŷ Hafan after all they’ve done for us,” said Andrew.

“We are part of the Tŷ Hafan family now. We will never forget what they have done for us and will continue to raise funds in Oscar’s memory so they can help more families like ours.

“We can’t thank Ty Hafan enough for what they have done for us. It is vitally important for people to fundraise for Ty Hafan so that they continue to provide amazing care for life-limited children and their families.”

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