An uncle's last attempt to support dying nephew

Nicola and Benjamin Blackwell
Nicola and Benjamin Blackwell
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Faced with a ticking time bomb of when his one-year-old nephew will die, a Preston teenager is appealing for support in one last fund-raising bid.

Benjamin Blackwell is currently in the high dependency unit at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, battling with brain damage and respiratory problems.

Adam Blackwell

Adam Blackwell

Doctors have told his family he won’t be able to survive his condition, but cannot state how long he will remain with them.

As Benjamin’s mum, Nicola, 26, is forced to split time between living at the hospital’s Ronald McDonald accommodation and being with her other four children, aged between seven and two, her brother, Adam Blackwell wanted to do something positive to help.

The 17-year-old will pedal from his home in Lostock Hall to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, with all funds raised going back to Ronald McDonald.

The Preston College student said: “Benjamin was born 12 weeks early and has brain damage and respiratory problems.

“He is very sick in the High Dependency Unit at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.

“His condition is really bad and doctors say they will continue with his care, but there is not much more they can do for him.

“Ben will die. We don’t know when. It could be today, tomorrow, or next month. We just take each day as it comes.

“Rainbow Trust has supported us in talking to his older brother and sisters, and they have been made aware.

“It has been a really tough time for us. Everyone is devastated and it has been very stressful for Nicola.

“I just wanted to do something to help.

“Nicola stays at Ronald McDonald most nights, returning home for two nights to be with her other children. She can’t leave Ben because he is so critically ill. Anything could happen at any time. Ronald McDonald has given us all a lot of support and we truly appreciate it. It helps keep families together rather than tear then apart.

“It costs a lot for Ronald McDonald to accommodate all the families. I hope to raise between £600 and £800. The more money I can raise, the better.”

Adam, who will complete his challenge on September 25, is no stranger to fund-raising.

He set up a Crowdfunding page to get donations for specialist equipment for Benjamin and has run from Preston to Liverpool.

He added: “I have a chromosome problem and so I did the run for Unique, which supports people with chromosome problems.

“I have been to the gym training for my cycle ride. I just want to raise as much money as I can.”

To support Adam visit http://www.gofundme.com/2hpqpv58
To read a previous story about Benjamin Blackwell click here http://www.lep.co.uk/news/mum-and-baby-rescued-by-police-from-car-park-chaos-1-7612269