Godmothers in 'Strictly Come Dancing' event for seriously ill Clapton tot
PUBLISHED: 12:43 25 October 2011
Angela Roots - submitted
Two godmothers donned sequins, feathers, and fascinators, and danced the night away at a 'Strictly Come Dancing' themed event to raise money for their sick godson's hospice.
The pair performed in front of a celebrity judge, former GMTV presenter Fiona Phillips, who is no stranger to the real BBC dance competition show.
Poorly 18-month-old Elijah Cariazo suffers from a rare genetic condition called myotubular myopathy, which means he is unable to breathe without a ventilator. He is so sick his family throw monthly ‘birthday’ parties for him because they don’t know how many he will live to see.
The tot, who lives with his parents in Mandeville Street, Clapton, attends Newham’s Richard House for respite care and family friends decided to participate in the fundraising event last Thursday (October 20) to thank the centre and its staff.
Elijah’s godmothers Angela Roots, 27, and Gill Cluckie, 39, and their dance partners, were among 22 couples performing in front of an audience of 450 hospice supporters at a hotel in central London.
The pair, both nurses who work with the toddler’s mum Onessa at St Thomas’ Hospital, in Southwark, performed Latin and Ballroom numbers and had weeks of lessons before the event.
Gill, and her dance partner Chris Kennedy, won third place. She said: “It was amazing – I couldn’t believe we did so well. I put it down to the cheers from all our supporters, but I intend to keep dancing from now on.
“There was a great atmosphere, and it was nice to do something for the hospice, which does such an amazing job.”
Elijah’s parents, Onessa, 36, and dad Jaroume, 38, made banners saying “go go godmums” and cheered the couples on.
The hospice looked after Elijah so his parents could have a night off to enjoy the fun.
Fiona Phillips said: “Having been a contestant on the BBC show, I think tonight was in the true spirit of what ‘Strictly’ should be.
“There was a small element of competitiveness, but it was great fun. More to the point, tonight raised money for a great cause.”
Gill and Angela – and their partners - raised more than £4,000 between them, and the night is expected to raise £20,000 in total for the hospice.