FUNDRAISERS showed a lot of heart on Valentine’s Day when they splashed into the icy North Sea to help a brave toddler.
Four workers from Warrior Park care home, in Seaton Carew, crashed through the waves to help Hartlepool girl Talia Foster receive specialist treatment.
The two-year-old faces a daily ordeal of multiple seizures and physiotherapy and needs eight different types of medication to fight a series of conditions including epilepsy.
But she put her brave battle to one side as her beaming smile lit up the sands of Seaton Carew while she watched the sponsored dippers get wet and wild.
Her mum, Clair, 36, said: “She was loving it. She loved having the wind in her face and all the attention she was getting from them all.
“It’s so nice of them to do it. I don’t really know any of them, but they wanted to help and we are so thankful.”
Clair and husband Brendan, 35, from Owton Manor, Hartlepool, are raising money to send Talia to a specialist centre in Oxfordshire for treatment.
It would cost £1,800 per treatment if Talia is suitable to be treated at Footsteps rehabilitation centre.
Yesterday’s dippers were Michael Allen, Dominique Muir, Laura Tomkins and Rebecca Readman, who all work at Warrior Park, in Queen Street.
They decided to raise cash after being touched by Talia’s story. A cut of the sponsorship, which is still being collected, will also go to the care home.
Care assistant Michael, 26, said: “It was colder than we thought it would be, words can’t describe it.
“But it was inspirational to see the little girl there and enjoying it. It was well worth it, even though it felt like it was in the minuses.”
Talia is unable to sit or walk unaided and has severe learning problems. She also has a reduction in her white brain matter which affects its growth.
Despite her setbacks, she has amazed doctors by showing signs of progress.
The dip is one of a host of fundraisers organised for Talia, which include:
•A charity night at Seaton Cricket Club on Saturday, February 26;
•An auction evening with disco and raffle at Hartlepool United Supporters’ Club on Friday, April 1;
•A sponsored walk on Sunday, April 10, from Seaton Cricket Club to Newburn Bridge and back;
•Other individuals offering to do sponsored events such as walks, bungee jumps and bike rides.
•Anyone who can help Talia can contact Clair and Brendan on (01429) 861687.