In memory of a 19-month-old – St Ives father’s charity walk

Chris and Emma Dowers with son James

Chris and Emma Dowers with son James - Credit: Archant

A FATHER is set to walk more than 70 miles in memory of his 19-month-old son.

Chris and Emma Dowers lost their son, James, on September 25 last year to an undiagnosed illness. From the age of 10 weeks baby James was struck down by an illness and despite countless tests and hospital visits the problem was never diagnosed.

After a brave battle, which saw the youngster beat the odds time and time again, he died in his parents’ arms at home in Dunnock Way, St Ives.

Now his grieving father will walk 73 miles from his home to Great Ormond Street Hospital, where James received extensive treatment, to promote their charity Baby James’ Starlight Trust.

The charity aims to support children suffering from mitochondrial disease, a possible cause of James’s death, and their families, as well as those struggling through other undiagnosed conditions.

Mr Dowers, 25, said: “My objective in this mission is to gain a wider audience, publicity and recognition for Baby James’ Starlight Trust in the hope that we can help more families in dire need.

“I would like the whole country to know that we are here and we are ready and waiting for those in need.”

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The Baby James’ Starlight Trust was given official charity status in April and Mr Dowers will be handing out leaflets and spreading awareness on his journey.

“It’s obviously going to be very emotional as it is to commemorate my son and it will be almost a year exactly to the day since his death,” Mr Dowers added. “But it’s also about building recognition for the charity.

“We want to use our experience to help families that are going through what we had to.”

Setting off on September 20 and arriving on the anniversary of James’s death, Mr Dowers will be stopping at five checkpoints on his journey. He expects to walk for 30 hours, stopping in Cambridge, Saffron Walden, Bishop’s Stortford, Harlow and Cheshunt.

Mr Dowers is inviting others to join him for sections of his walk and help him spread the word.

INFORMATION: To sponsor Mr Dowers go to To find out more about the Baby James’ Starlight Trust go to or to get involved call Mr Dowers on 01480 301132 or e-mail