In November 2020, aged just 16, Jack Dyer sadly passed away.
A month later, we decided to row the Atlantic Ocean in his memory.
We aim to raise £250,000 for Acorns Children's Hospice, a charity that provided invaluable care and support to Jack and his family throughout his life.
"There were two places that we felt that Jack was safest and happiest: at home, and at Acorns"
- Dale Dyer
Jack developed a severe form of cerebral palsy from birth, meaning that he required 24/7 care throughout his life.
Acorns Children’s Hospice cared for Jack and his family, providing vital respite and allowing them to experience a taste of "normal" life.
In the past year, Acorns has supported over 704 children and more than 940 families across the West Midlands, including those who have been bereaved.
It's hard to quantify the impact that Jack's unexpected condition had on his family. With Jack needing constant round the clock care, living a normal life was simply not possible.
Jack's condition left him brain-damaged, partially sighted, and with a number of life-changing injuries which left him unable to stand, walk or talk.
His family had their lives turned upside-down due to the additional strain of caring for and supporting Jack, something that you would never wish upon any parent.
"The staff at Acorns don't see children with issues, but instead see a child who needs care, and a family who needs help (and are passionate about supporting them).
Acorns is about having fun and enjoyment as a kid, not reflecting sadly about disability."
- Dale Dyer
Acorns provide care for babies, children and young people, who have life limiting or life threatening conditions, helping to support them and their families in any way possible.
Caring for a child with complex medical needs can place unimaginable demands on a family, both physically and emotionally. When time is short every moment is precious which is why, as well as providing specialist care, Acorns help families to make lasting memories.
As Acorns offers services not provided on the NHS, it is of vital importance for so many families of children with severe disabilities.
The charity is 80% funded through private donations, and in 2017 were unable to meet the costs required for their annual operations.
Having seen first-hand the impact they make on families lives, we don't want to let this lifeline slip away.
An insight into the challenges faced by Jack's family