Superhero teen to go abseiling for hospice in memory of his mum

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A Crawley teenager is gearing up to take on his second abseil challenge to thank St Catherine’s Hospice for the care they gave his mum - and he’s hoping others will join in.

This year is not the first time that Tyler Saward O’Sullivan, 14, of Northgate has gone over the edge for St Catherine’s. Last year, he took part in the same 100ft Superhero abseil challenge with his dad, Darren and older sister, Ashlee.

As well as completing the adrenaline fuelled challenge, the family proved they were true superheroes by raising more than £2,000 and being crowned 2015’s top abseil fundraisers.

St Catherine’s provided Tyler and his family with support when his mum Nicola was ill and continued to support him after his mum died by providing counselling at school. He said: “We were allowed to come and go when we wanted, to sleep there, and when mum died, the nurses were there to sit with my sister.”

He hasn’t yet decided which superhero he’ll be this year abseil but he knows it is going to be fun. He said: “It has a really good atmosphere and it feels good to fundraise for such a fantastic cause.

“By taking part, you’ll also help St Catherine’s support other people’s mums and their families, just like they did mine.”

To his dad Darren, the Hazelwick School pupil is already a real life superhero.

Darren said: “Tyler’s a top lad. He does so much to help me, I’m on oxygen and he’s my young carer. For 14 years old and everything he’s been through, he’s just amazing.”

He added: “My wife stayed on St Catherine’s Inpatient Unit for two weeks. While she was there, the hospice helped her manage her illness so we could get married at a local registry office. It was a really special day. After the wedding, we went straight back to the hospice.

“Not many people can say they spent their honeymoon at St Catherine’s but I did. They were amazing; they put petals on the bed and made us a cake. The hospice became a second home for me, we’ll do all we can to support them.”

The abseil is on Saturday October 8 at the Sandman Signature Hotel in Crawley.

To take part, people must raise a minimum £150 sponsorship and registration is £25. Sign up at www.stch.org.uk/abseil or contact the events team on 01293 447355 or events@stch.org.uk

With the title of last year’s top fundraiser, Tyler knows a thing or two about raising money. When asked for his top fundraising tips, He said: “Getting something up online is really good and my school, Hazelwick, have also been really supportive. Another great tip is to carry your sponsorship forms with you wherever you go. I hand them out to family members and I’ve put one in the local pub. You’ll be surprised who supports you if you ask.”