PARENTS of a boy near Stafford, born with his bladder outside his body, are raising funds to thank two charities who have helped them on their heart-rending journey.
Emma and Andrew Parker of Ranton, did not know son Jack had the rare condition until he was born at Stafford Hospital in April 2013.
Jack was immediately rushed to Royal Manchester Children's Hospital for specialist care. Although he was eventually allowed home, he needed a jelly pad to protect his bladder and couldn't be immersed in water.
In July 2013 he went back to the children's hospital for surgery, spending six weeks there. His parents and older sisters, Holly, seven, and Lucy, four, were able stay close by thanks to Ronald McDonald House Manchester, which offers free accommodation for the families of young hospital patients.
Almost a year on Jack is thriving like any other lad of his age.
His grateful family plan to spend this July raising funds for Ronald McDonald House Manchester and Kidneys for Life, a charity which supports children like Jack who also receive specialist care at Royal Manchester Children's Hospital.
Mrs Parker said: "The support we received has been fabulous and helped us all along the journey.
On July 19 Mr Parker will get on his bike for a sponsored cycle ride from Stafford to Llanbedr, Wales - a gruelling 108 miles.
But those who prefer a more sedate fundraiser are invited to join a family-friendly sponsored walk, on July 5, along the Norbury Millennium Walk. Starting from Norbury Village Hall at 1pm, families can enjoy a seven mile or shorter 2.5 mile walk before returning to the village hall for a raffle at 5pm.
Anyone who would like to take part in the fundraisers should email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations can also be made online at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/jackandrewparker.