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Rachel’s Marathon Success, and Daniel’s Love for Life.

Running a marathon is no small feat, but for Rachel, it was personal journey of remembrance. “I’ve always wanted to do a half marathon or a full one, and I chose to do the Reading one in memory of my brother Daniel,”. Daniel, who had severe cerebral palsy, passed away four years ago, leaving behind a legacy of joy and resilience that Rachel wanted to honor.

When Daniel was born, a nurse at the hospital made a remark that stuck with Rachel’s parents: “She said, ‘Oh, you won’t be able to go on holiday again as a family in the same way.’ And I think they probably meant that with the best intentions, but it was so wrong to say that,”. Despite the challenges, Daniel’s family was determined to live life to the fullest, embracing every opportunity to create happy memories together.

This is where we were privileged enough to have played a crucial role in Daniel’s life. “There were so many people throughout his life that helped him, and different charities, but QEF felt really special to me and my family. QEF provided the support and resources needed for Daniel and my family to enjoy holidays and adventures together, something we had been told might not be possible.”

Rachel vividly remembers the difference QEF made: “They took him to an assessment room where he was able to try all sorts of experiences. I remember when we went, they had these special harness belts that just sort of molded to him in the airplane. It gave my parents so much confidence to try getting him onto the sea and into an airplane. It was a really big thing.” Because of QEF’s support, Daniel was able to join his family on numerous holidays. “He just loved his holidays so much; it brought him so much joy and happiness. Without QEF, that wouldn’t have been possible,”.

Rachel’s decision to run the marathon was a way to give back to QEF and to help other families in similar situations. “I really wanted to do something in memory of him. If I can just play a small part in making that same thing possible for other people with disabilities and their families, then that’s what I wanted to do,”. Training for and completing the marathon was an emotional journey. “It was amazing and very emotional. Everywhere people were cheering you on, and that just really helps. Even throughout my training, I always thought back to Daniel. Whatever suffering he went through, what I was feeling in that moment was nothing compared to that.”

Rachel’s story is a testament to the power of love and resilience. “When you have that support of people that love you so much, you want to try your best.


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I think he knew how much as a family we always were there for him, and that gave him that fight in life as well,”. By sharing Daniel’s story and her own journey, Rachel hopes to inspire others to support QEF and recognize the profound impact such organizations have on families and individuals with disabilities. “It’s really about sharing his story and showing that with the right support, people with disabilities can live full, joyous lives,” Rachel’s parents also shared their experiences with us, and the impact it had on Daniel’s life. This is best told in their own words. Ouida, Daniel’s Mum:


“From birth I noticed that Daniel though brain injured was able to feel excitement and joy. The more we gave him opportunities to have fun the more he responded to this stimulation and made him happy. “


“Flying was one experience he thoroughly enjoyed. He loved the preparation and hype before we flew, the buzz of airports and then the actual holiday experience at the country he went to. The beach holidays in Europe and Sri Lanka were very much sensory learning experience for him as he was able to touch and feel the sand and water in pool and sea and enjoy that sensation. This activity helped to send signals to his brain. This way he could learn and enjoy the beauty of this world and be in touch with nature. This had a calming effect on Dan. As Dan had Cerebral Palsy he was not able to walk talk or eat. He could not independently access these holidays so we had to help him have these opportunities in life to enjoy, learn and spend quality time with his family. “


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“QEF made this possible. They were positive, helpful on our first visit and seeing how Dan fitted in a section of an actual aircraft enabled us to see that it was absolutely possible for Dan to fly safely and comfortable with good support despite his disability. “


“QEF gave us the encouragement , support and confidence to take Dan with us and help him to enjoy many different counties and make friends from different backgrounds and nationalities. He was a very friendly boy and loved meeting people and they were captivated by him. He could only vocalise and smile with his eyes but this way he communicated with people and made heart to heart connections with some lovely international people. This brought him great happiness. For me as a mother this was so precious as I could see that travelling brought great fulfilment and wonderment to Dan and without QEF this would not be possible. “


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Praveen, Daniel’s Father:


“When Daniel was a few years old we were able to use standard pushchairs and car seats when we were travelling to Spain and Portugal but as he grew he needed a specialist wheelchair and could not use a standard child car seat as it would not provide a support for his head, back, and legs. When I contacted Motability they advised to go to QEF for an assessment of Daniel’s travel needs. We were able to see his wheelchair could be secured and who to get to him if needed auctioning while driving. “


“Having access to this service and to get expert advice was a life changing experience for Daniel and we were able to take Daniel with the whole family wherever we went. “


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Rachel’s marathon run honored her brother’s memory. We are so privileged to have been able to help Daniel and his family to live life how they wanted. Through her efforts, she continues to spread a message of hope, resilience, and the power of community support.


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Driving was my ticket to a future of independence and I got so much out of the course with QEF. They gave me with the opportunity to increase my independence and to increase my understanding of my own skills. By passing my (driving) test they helped me to better myself – it was an incredible opportunity.

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