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Trust beneficiary returns support in #charity10for10.
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Keith Newell has taken on the #charity10for10 in aid of the Professional Cricketers’ Trust almost two years after he revealed his family’s story and the support he has received from the players’ charity.
The former Glamorgan and Sussex all-rounder has raised the bar by cycling and then running 10km with daughter Jessica, who suffers from a life-limiting form of Mitochondrial Disease. Newell has generously donated £100 to the charity which is facing an annual shortfall of over £250,000 due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic and commented: “An absolute pleasure to support the Trust as you have supported us.”
Newell also said it was “great to see some of the England team and ex-pros giving the challenge a go” and encouraged those within the cricket family, especially those current and former players at Glamorgan and Sussex to give back to the charity which supports PCA members and their immediate families when they need it most.
The Trust supports current and former professional cricketers in England and Wales through hard times, with recent beneficiaries such as Newell, Tom Smith and Dom Bess having publicly outlined the wide range of provisions which the charity can offer.
In October 2018, Newell and wife Victoria wrote a blog for the Trust’s website outlining how Jessica, now aged six, lives with Mitochondrial Disease and what the players’ charity has done to support the whole family. That included the purchase of an all-terrain Delichon Delta buggy to help make the outdoors more easily accessible for both Jessica and her family.
Two years down the line, Keith has reflected on the time in between and given us an update on his daughter’s condition and the welfare of his family.
“Jessica has been ok even though a lot of the ways she’s being treated have changed,” Newell explains.
“She did suffer a lot with chest infections a couple of years ago which was really quite a major thing, especially during the winter period. We did have to go through quite a considerable amount of hospital visits.
“She’s a very smart girl but she’s just very unfortunate to be locked in a body which doesn’t give her anything which is a sad thing to say."
“Her ability to fight off and keep away any type of chest infection really has been a blessing for us, though. However, her epilepsy is still very much happening and with Mitochondrial Disease her ability to keep her major organs functioning is tricky.
“We’ve got Eyegaze at home now so Jessica can communicate a few things at home with us using eye movements.
“She’s a very smart girl but she’s just very unfortunate to be locked in a body which doesn’t give her anything which is a sad thing to say. She wants to be able to communicate and express herself but it can be very difficult for her.
“The help that we get from the NHS and the consultants that we deal with are all fantastic. We’re very lucky and we try and do the best for her that we can.”
Newell explains that getting away with the family with support from the Trust in recent years has been key to creating positive and lasting memories.
With his family given vulnerable status in light of recent circumstances, however, the full-time school teacher has also appreciated being able to spend extended periods of time at home with both of his children.
“The Trust helped us go to Center Parcs a couple of Easters ago, and getting away and making memories has obviously been at the forefront of what we’ve been doing. It’s been a few years since the Trust supplied us with the Delta buggy but that’s been fantastic to have.
“The last 10 weeks have been challenging but I’ve obviously been able to spend more time with the children. Amazingly, there are still a lot of tiny details about Jessica that even I don’t know about so it’s been great just to spend a lot of time at home recently.”
To take part and donate visit the Professional Cricketers’ Trust’s JustGiving campaign by clicking below.