Gazette staff and Bentham family's fundraising bid

First published in Daniel Orr The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by

BENTHAM residents and Westmorland Gazette staff will don fancy dress and walking boots to help raise money for a good cause on Sunday.

More than 100 people are taking part in Feet for Frankie, a sponsored walk in aid of Derian House Children’s Hospice, which is helping to care for Frankie Forgione, who celebrates his first birthday tomorrow (Saturday).

Frankie - the great nephew of Bentham sisters Dawn Dixon and Sharon Haslam - has Krabbe Leukodystrophy, a terminal illness which affects his eyesight, movement and swallowing, and which, without medication, would cause him constant pain.

Most children with the disease pass away before the age of two, and the average life expectancy is just 13 months.

Also involved in the walk are Mrs Haslam’s daughters Faye, Amy and Rosy, who works at the Gazette, and reporter Daniel Orr.

Mrs Dixon, who has helped organise the event, said: “We wanted to do something to help Derian House because they have been brilliant for Sean, Kim and Frankie, and they rely on fundraising and donations to stay open."

Frankie's mum, Kim Robinson, who lives in Leyland, Lancashire, said of Derian House: "They have been a great support and without them it’s hard to know how we would have coped.

"They are there to give us respite and they are brilliant with our beautiful baby.”

To donate money for the walk, which takes place in Leyland, visit or pop in to the Gazette offices in Wainwright’s Yard, Kendal.

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