• Sat. Apr 13th, 2024

North East Connected

Hopping Across The North East From Hub To Hub

Keria MooreA LITTLE girl with a complex heart condition is one of hundreds of North East youngsters set to benefit when the Great North Snowdogs break loose this autumn.

For 10 weeks starting on September 19, 60 large and 105 mini sculptures based on the story of The Snowman and The Snowdog by Raymond Briggs will form the largest public art trail of its kind to be held in the region.

Individually decorated by artists and celebrities, the Snowdogs will take to the streets, parks and open spaces across Tyneside, Gateshead and Sunderland in a project to raise much-needed cash for St Oswald’s Hospice’s Children and Young Adult’s Service.

Keira Moore, from Whiteleas, South Tyneside, is among the children who currently benefit from the specialist care offered at the Newcastle hospice. Now aged six, she has been a regular visitor to St Oswald’s since she was 18-months-old due to her condition, which makes her tire easily and requires specialist care.

“When Keira was four-weeks-old she was diagnosed with DiGeorge Syndrome which is a condition that is the result of a missing chromosome,” explained Keira’s mum, Teri.

“For Keira the symptom of the condition is pulmonary atresia, a complex heart condition. This means that she doesn’t get enough oxygen so needs to have it pumped into her, as well as a few different medications throughout the day.

“Her oxygen levels need monitoring closely as they can become very low, and it’s then that she turns blue. Keira always wonders what the fuss is all about – she could be laughing and giggling while her oxygen levels are dangerously low.”

Keira and her family are reliant on the Children and Young Adults Service which provides respite for children with incurable conditions. Just like the story of The Snowman and the Snowdog, it aims to create magical moments and memories for the families that use it.

“Because of her condition, Keira tires very easily and I often carry her around,” said Teri. “She’s small for her age but it is still very tiring for me too. When she goes to St Oswald’s for four nights a month I get a break and the chance to spend some time with my son, Lewis.

“Keira gets a lot of my attention because her condition is so complex and understandably Lewis gets frustrated. When she goes to the hospice we can do things like go karting which Lewis enjoys.

“Keira’s four nights at the hospice is a break for her, too. She loves going to St Oswald’s and constantly asks how many sleeps it is until her next break there.”

The Great North Snowdogs trail will be supported by a map, dedicated app and website which will lead visitors from popular tourist destinations to lesser-known parts of the region along a route covered by the Metro system and other public transport.

At the same time, a separate trail of small Snowdogs created by local school children and community groups will be exhibited to showcase the talent of young people in the North East.

When the trail closes on November 29, the dogs will be auctioned to raise funds for the hospice.

For further information visit www.greatnorthsnowdogs.co.uk or call 0191 285 0063.

By admin