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Birmingham man to take on fundraising challenge in memory of son

A father from the West Midlands is set to take on a fundraising challenge to give back to those who helped care for his son.

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Baabzi's son Adam

Baabzi Miah, from Birmingham, will walk and cycle 363 kilometres for Mencap in tribute to his son Adam who died in 2017.

He aims to take on the challenge on March 21 – World Down Syndrome Day – with the number equivalent to the number of days of his son’s life.

Baabzi Miah

Adam, who was born with Down syndrome and pulmonary hypertension, died at just 11-months-old after suffering complications due to the flu.

Mr Miah, who owns a takeaway in Warwick, also has six other children. He said he and his family would never forget the care they received during the “worst time in their lives”.

He said: “Although his time was short it is in Adam’s memory that I am driven to help raise money for fantastic organisations that helped my son in every way possible during those 363 days,” he said.

“Mencap does some truly inspiring work and I wholeheartedly back their ethos that everybody is an individual and they treat everyone they work with as individuals.

Baabzi delivering food parcels.

“It’s work like this and their expertise that means Mencap is close to my heart. I want to help raise funds to help them to continue to provide excellent programs, services and support within this area.

“I’m going to start this challenge with 5km a day and then increase the daily target by 1km daily so hopefully I’ll be completing it within six weeks.”

The challenge marks the latest fundraiser since the launch of Baabzi’s Covid-19 NHS Appeal during the first lockdown in aid of the hospitals which cared for Adam – Heartlands and Birmingham Children’s Hospitals and Great Ormond Street Hospital.

Baabzi's son Adam

He has now raised more than £10,000 through events including a charity night, a sponsored cycling challenge and even a skydive last August.

He added: “Our incredibly personal and life-changing experience heavily impacted our lives. Losing a child left a massive vacuum and the only way that I have been able to find much-needed comfort and peace has been this need to serve, to give back in some way.

“This has been a very personal journey for me and my family and it’s helped us heal. My family and I were cared for and lovingly supported by these wonderful people at the NHS during a harrowing time in their own lives.

"Nothing short of angelic teams of nurses and doctors tirelessly worked to save our baby boy, who sadly passed away after a brave battle to overcome his health challenges.”

Baabzi delivering masks amid Covid-19.

Laura Bruce, the area fundraiser for Mencap, said: “I am truly honoured to be supporting Baabzi and his family with their fundraising. It’s been such a difficult journey and helping them has been lovely.

!I have been supporting Baabzi for a number of years and he has already raised money for Mencap through activities in his takeaway. I am looking forward to supporting him throughout this year to raise an incredible £10,000.

Baabzi by Adam's grave.

“Mencap is the leading learning disability charity, passionate about changing the world for the 1.5 million people with a learning disability.

"We’re here to improve the lives of people with a learning disability and their families right now and fight alongside them for a better future.”

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