A CAERWENT couple who lost their four-month-old son to a spinal condition are urging others to take part in an event to raise money for the service which supported them.

The Harding family have been supported by Tŷ Hafan Children's Hospice since their baby son Max was diagnosed with SMA type 1, shortly after he was born in January 2016.

What is SMA type 1?

SMA or spinal muscular atrophy is a genetic condition that makes the muscles weaker and causes problems with movement.

Type 1 occurs in babies under the age of six months and is the most severe.

Mum and dad Martina and Glyn Harding say that without the help of the hospice charity they would have struggled to have coped with Max’s condition and death at just four months old.  

South Wales Argus: Max HardingMax Harding (Image: Ty Hafan)

Now, they are getting ready, along with children Mila, nine, and six-year-old Bow, to do Tŷ Hafan’s new Caldicot Castle Dark Run.

The event takes place on Saturday, October 21, and will help to raise vital funds for the hospice.

The Hardings are encouraging as many other people from the area to sign up too. 

Mr Harding said: “When you are given the news that going to lose a child you are in a space, but you don’t know what to do. It’s like you are in a vacuum.

"Everything is going around you - but you are in an entirely different world."

South Wales Argus: Mila, Martina, Glyn and Bow HardingMila, Martina, Glyn and Bow Harding (Image: Ty Hafan)

Mr Harding explained that he had actually completed a fundraising bike ride for the charity before his family required their services.

"You don’t get to know the full importance of something until you need it yourself," he said.

"We needed something and we grabbed the support Tŷ Hafan offered us with both hands.

"Tŷ Hafan could not stop Max from dying, but it could help us all through the experience.” 

Mrs Harding said: “The care and love Tŷ Hafan has showed us has been second to none.

“They stood by us and guided us.

"The support Tŷ Hafan  provides is priceless.” 

James Davies-Hale, head of fundraising at Tŷ Hafan, said: “Caldicot Castle Dark Run is a brilliant new opportunity for family and friends to get dressed up, get together and have a great evening out.

"You’ll be helping to raise funds to support Tŷ Hafan’s work with children with life-shortening conditions and their families."

What's more, Principality Building Society have pledged to match-fund Caldicot Castle Dark Run for Tŷ Hafan up to £12,500.

"This epic 2km fun run will start in the castle grounds and then you’ll head out into the gardens and wooden country park," Mr Davies-Hale said.

“Everyone who takes part will get a free large glowstick and a glow in the dark medal."

To book your place, head to tyhafan.org/events/caldicot-castle-dark-run