Devoted parents Steve and Maya McCormack have raised £165,000 to open a nursery in memory of their baby daughter who died from a rare genetic disorder.
Little Laila Milly died from Aicardi syndrome in March 2011, a day before her first birthday.
Mr and Mrs McCormack started fundraising after Laila’s diagnosis in a bid to open a day nursery to provide care for children with serious and complex conditions. At the time the Express backed their campaign to raise the money they needed.
Now, more than three years later, the nursery on Kirkby Road in Hemsworth is to officially open on Sunday August 31.
Mrs McCormack, 32, said: “It is incredible that we have managed to raise so much money since we started this three years ago.
“The nursery is a lasting memory of Laila and it is lovely that we have managed to get something positive from our awful experience.
“It is helping to keep her memory alive for us and for our son Reuben, who will see as he grows up that we have done this for his big sister.
“We are also helping other parents in a similar position to us and we are showing that something good can come out of tragedy – that there is hope. “
Fundraising events organised by the couple – supported by the local community – included a Mount Kilimanjaro climb, fun runs, fundays, a firefighters’ calendar and a Hell on the Humber marathon challenge. The Asda Foundation also donated £19,000.
The nursery, in a former optician’s building, underwent a massive renovation and now features a sensory room with fibre optic stands, a bubble-shaped wall and a projector with a mini cinema.
The sensory room is the main feature of the two-storey building, which also has a playroom and dedicated parents’ room.
Mrs McCormack, who recently moved from Ackworth to Hemsworth, said: “Everything is pretty much done in the nursery and we are very excited that we are ready to open. We have already had some families come to have a look round.
“Most of the money has gone into getting the building ready but we still have some left for ongoing costs and we will need to continue fundraising to pay for staff.
“We’d like to thank everyone who has helped us get to this stage.”
The official opening will take place from 11am to 3pm.
Visit www.lailamillyfoundation.org.uk for more information, or to donate.