Mother’s Love in Action: Laura’s Inspired Journey of Empathy and Endurance to Raise Funds for Little Hearts Matter

Mother’s Love in Action: Laura’s Inspired Journey of Empathy and Endurance to Raise Funds for Little Hearts Matter

In an extraordinary display of love and determination, LHM Parent Member, Laura Cwiklinski, a devoted mum of two from Cheshire, is taking on a ‘Big Six’ series of endurance challenges to mark two milestone birthdays whilst raising funds for Little Hearts Matter (LHM). LHM supported Laura’s family after her son Lewis was born with half a working heart.

The idea for Laura’s ‘Big Six’ challenge started a decade ago, amid discussions with doctors about Lewis’ upcoming treatment options. It was during a heart-breaking chat with her son during a family holiday that Laura had the light-bulb moment. Lewis, unaware of the weight of his words, confided in his mum, “my life sucks.”

Laura told us, “One day on the beach Lewis and his younger brother Noah made some new friends. They were playing in the sea and Lewis walked over to me and I could see as he walked over, his little blue moustache had appeared, and his hands had gone a little bit blue.

“Lewis joined me on the sunbed, and I could see him just look back over to Noah giggling with his new friends. Lewis then looked me straight in the eye and went, “you don’t know what it’s like to be me.””

Laura said it was one of the hardest things she’d ever heard. Because it was true. Laura realised that due to his condition, she wrapped Lewis up in cotton wool and made it her mission to keep him safe. In doing so, she kept him sheltered, and Lewis had no idea how great his life could be.

This revelation sparked a meaningful heart to heart between Laura and her son. Lewis shared his six biggest struggles and fears associated with living with a half a working heart. They included:

  • Achy legs, which made it difficult for him to keep up with his friends during physical activities.
  • Difficulty regulating his body temperature, leading to moments of feeling very cold.
  • Fatigue and breathlessness, affecting his energy levels and ability to engage in activities.
  • Fear of needles, particularly related to medical procedures and treatments.
  • Challenges in asking for help when needed, highlighting feelings of independence and self-sufficiency.
  • Moments of wanting to stop but pushing through, demonstrating resilience and determination in the face of adversity.

Motivated by a desire to better understand her son’s experiences and to ensure he felt supported and understood, Laura took on six daunting challenges in 2014. Each challenge mirrored the physical and emotional hurdles Lewis experienced on a regular basis.

Laura ran a marathon without training, jumped out of a plane, and even braved the icy waters of Lake Windermere that January – pushing herself beyond her comfort zone in a show of solidarity and empathy with her son.

Laura’s ‘Big Six’ challenge is not about reaching physical personal bests. It’s about breaking down barriers and fostering understanding. Through her efforts, she hopes to shed light, once again, on the daily struggles faced by children like Lewis and inspire others to support the vital work of Little Hearts Matter.

Laura added: “For parents like me, getting outdoors and taking on these challenges isn’t just about tackling physical feats; it’s also about escaping the reminders that arrive with each dreaded brown envelope that hits the floor – the appointments, the reminders of struggles. It’s a chance to leave it all behind, if only for a moment, and revel in the simple joy of nature.”

Through the ‘Big Six’ challenge, Laura hopes to raise £6,000 for Little Hearts Matter so that the charity can provide information, support, and reassurance to families and children living with half a working heart when they need it most.

For more information or to support Laura’s fundraising efforts, please visit https://www.justgiving.com/page/laura-cwiklinski