Dubai: Alice Johnson, a Dubai resident, has decided to turn the time-honoured tradition of the father walking the daughter down the 15-metre wedding aisle into a fund-raising drive when she ties the knot in July.
The 33-year-old freelance writer from the UK is aiming to raise Dh117,000 for the physiotherapy department of her neighbourhood Royal Surrey County Hospital, Guildford, that continues to treat her severely injured father.
Alice’s father Andrew Johnson, 66, was crippled in a car accident in France in 2010. Two years later, and after five surgeries to fix his shattered thigh bones, Johnson, an aviation engineer, still needs regular physiotherapy sessions, and walks with the help of crutches.
Johnson and his wife Helen are currently visiting Dubai where Alice and her elder brother live with the latter’s family.
Alice told XPRESS that it is a miracle that her father survived the accident, and that he is walking at all.
“I was really concerned: what if he were confined to the wheelchair for my wedding. I’m one of three daughters and he walked my two sisters down the aisle at their weddings. I’m absolutely thrilled to bits that my dad will be able to walk me down the aisle at my wedding,” she said.
Alice and her fiancé Jon Potter, a Dubai-based technical manager from the UK, decided to launch a fund-raising initiative to coincide with their marriage on July 13 in England.
The couple has set up a fundraising page with Virgin Money Giving to give back to the community hospital that got Andrew literally back on his feet. “The walk might only be 15 metres down the church aisle but it means miles for my father, and he is quite determined to do it without support,” said Alice.
She said it was important to give back to the community and the vastly-underfunded hospital. “I also think that physiotherapy and the fantastic work that physiotherapists do get overlooked in fundraising efforts,” she added.
Those interested can donate as much or as little as they like at Virgin Money Giving Donation page at http://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/team/AisleWalk
There is also a blog page on Alice’s website, www.aejohnson.co.uk/AisleWalk with the full story of her father’s accident and recovery. A Facebook page www.facebook.com/AisleWalk will be posting updates as fundraising gears up.
The money will go into funding a private cubicle space, electric standing frame and a multi–gym weight station for the hospital.