Glamorous ball to be held in Croydon in memory of 'little big hero', Joel Selwyn Ruck, of Epsom, who died of meningitis
A second glamorous ball is being held to remember a "little big hero" who died of meningitis.
Nine-month-old Joel Selwyn Ruck, of Epsom, Surrey, first showed signs of being ill on Christmas Day 2009.
His devoted parents Kimberlyn Dela Cruz and Lee Ruck, both 30, put it down to teething or a winter cold.
They took him to the doctors on December 27, where he was diagnosed with an ear infection and given antibiotics.
A second doctor also thought it was an ear infection along with dehydration.
But the worried couple later rushed Joel to the A&E at Epsom Hospital, and he was transferred to King's College Hospital for specialist care. Miss Dela Cruz said: "It broke our hearts to see him lying there with tubes everywhere and bleeping machines.
"Later that day we were told it might be pneumococcal meningitis and that he was no longer breathing by himself."
Despite the best efforts of medical staff his condition worsened to the point that on New Year's Eve doctors testing Joel's brain could find no response. His life support machine was switched off and his organs were donated, which helped save two lives.
His family and friends are now dedicated fundraisers for Meningitis UK to try and stop other children dying like this.
The group, called the Little Big Fundraisers, has already raised more than £15,000 in Joel’s memory.
Now they are holding the second annual Little Big Hero Charity Ball at Croydon Park Hotel, Croydon, on Saturday, November 16.
This year’s theme is masquerade and there will be a delicious three-course meal, live acts, Thai boxing demo, dance crew, luxury raffle and bottle of champagne for the person with the best mask.
Raffle prizes include a week in a luxury Spanish villa worth £7,000, donated by Sweeptech Environmental Services; an Amida spa day in Hampton, club class party bus London tours, Bestival 2014 tickets and more. There will also be a fitting tribute to Joel and information on fundraising and Meningitis UK/Trust’s lifesaving work.
Co-organiser Anna Chuicharoen, of London, said: "This promises to be a night of good ol' glitz and glamour – we stress that anyone is welcome.
"There will be so much entertainment – it’s guaranteed to be fun – all to remember our Joel and to help wipe out this horrendous disease.
"This is a ticket-only event and on a first-come first-served basis.
"We urge people to grab their tickets quickly, they are expected to go fast."
Tickets cost £40, which includes the three-course meal and a drink. To book tickets, call 0208 680 9200 or email email@example.com. To donate, visit www.meningitisUK.tributefunds.com and search Joel Selwyn Ruck. For more information on Meningitis UK/Trust, call 0117 947 6320 or visit www.meningitisuk.org.
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