A YOUNGSTER is preparing to take part in a charity cycle ride this month that was started in his honour.
Bailey Butler, from Blyth, was born two months prematurely weighing just 4lbs 4ozs in September 2007.
His parents, Julie and Shaun, spent four weeks with Bailey in Wansbeck Hospital’s special care baby unit, and launched the annual Bailey’s Bike Ride to raise money for the unit.
Now the three-year-old is strong enough to take part in the 20km ride from Blyth Town Football Pavilion to St Mary’s Lighthouse in Whitley Bay and back.
The ride, on Saturday, September 3, will be the fourth successful year for the event, taking place the day before Bailey’s fourth birthday.
Bailey’s mum Julie said: “Bailey really wants to take part on his own for the first time after learning to ride his bike without his stabilisers.
“He’s just so enthusiastic and made keen to be part of ‘his’ bike ride now the stabilisers are off.
“Wach given day he amazes me from his awful start in life to a big strong four-year-old, he is amazing. He is always trying to do things his older brothers do, so is learning things a lot quicker than little boys his age.
“I am a very proud mum.
“The staff at Wansbeck cared for both Bailey and us, and to show our gratitude for the care they gave us, we run Bailey’s Bike Ride.”
Julie is still looking for people to take part in the event, and is expecting around 300 participants.
The couple have already raised £27,000 through the bike ride and this year they are focusing on raising enough money for a new C-Pap machine that helps premature babies’ lungs when they are first born.
“We are fundraising this year specifically for a C-Pap machine, because Bailey was on one and I know how important they are,” Julie added.
On the return to the football pavilion there will be a family day consisting of stalls, games, rides, live bands and fun for all the family.
The money raised so far by the couple has seen the opening of a Bereavement Room for the Teardrop Group at Wansbeck Hospital.
To find out more about Bailey’s Bike Ride or how to take part visit www.baileysbikeride.com email email@example.com or call 07720 839245.