Below are stories about the wonderful families who we have supported and helped:
We first met Leah at Addenbrooke’s hospital on the day of one of Henry’s MRI scans. She is a wonderfully friendly girl, and that day she was smiling through a day of chemotherapy treatment.
After we were contacted by Leah’s family, we provided them with a grant which paid for them to visit the Winter Wonderland at Center Parcs for 5 days in December 2015.
Leah’s Mum Sarah says “The charity helped us so much with being able to go on a family holiday, which we all really needed before we went. Leah was very stressed and was sometimes difficult to handle as she was having long difficult tantrums and suddenly suffering anger problems. She was very down, until we got on holiday. She absolutely loved our time away and we all had such a lovely time, there were no tantrums on holiday and hardly any at all since, she really needed that break from it all and I cant thank you enough because just with us having a holiday its helped her so so much x”
This wonderful girl was treated at Addenbrooke’s at the same time as Henry and we became very close to their family, and have remained firm friends. It helps so much having friends who truly understand what life with a poorly child is like.
The charity the family a grant which paid for them to go to Center Parcs to create magical memories after brain surgery and 13 months of gruelling chemotherapy. They had a wonderful time.
This wonderful young boy is another child who we met during Henry’s treatment. Following several months of chemotherapy and surgery in the UK, he and his family needed to go to America for specialist radiation treatment (proton beam therapy) and we helped contribute to the huge costs of treatment away from home by providing them with a grant. This meant they could spend a weekend away at the ranch away from the hospital whilst they were in America.
We are in regular contact with this family and they attended our Christmas party in 2015.
Another wonderful brave boy who we came to know really well in 2013 at Addenbrooke’s.
We provided the family a grant so that they could spend some quality time away from hospitals and gruelling chemotherapy treatments which made him very poorly. They chose to use the grant to go to Cornwall and spent lovely time together on the beach.
After nearly 2 years of chemotherapy and all the horribleness that it involves, sadly Jasmi relapsed. This has meant that Jasmi and her mum needed to move into Addenbrooke’s hospital onto the oncology ward for at least 3 months, which will be probably followed by a bone marrow transplant in another oncology centre in the UK, involving at least another 3 months in hospital. We provided Jasmi with an iPad so that she could use it during her time in hospital to help with her education and keep her busy.
Jasmi’s mum says “ Jasmi’s iPad has been an absolute life saver. With so much time spent on the ward it means she never gets bored.”
After 9 months of chemotherapy and surgery, we provided this lovely family with a grant which they chose to use to spend a week in Portugal in the sunshine to try and get away from all they’d been through and make some wonderful memories together.
Following surgery to remove a tumour on his kidney and several months of chemotherapy too , we provided this lovely family with a grant which was used to help enjoy time away on a trip to Disneyland Florida.
His mum says “ When Joseph’s immunity was low and he picked up lots of nasty bugs, we were staying at West Suffolk. Unable to come out if our room for days it was a pretty miserable time. I got in touch with Katie and she came visiting with toys and she listened. We were invited to the Christmas party. Joseph and Patrick had a wonderful time. The professional photo that was taken of us, I will treasure forever. We haven’t applied for our grant yet, but I already know that a huge big holiday is needed. It’s something to look forward to when you are stuck I hospital and having a tough time. We want to be able to treat joseph when all this madness calms down and give him a holiday that he’s been missing out on.”
His mum Lorna says “ I think this is a wonderful charity. What Katie does for the West Suffolk children is nothing short of wonderful. We have not taken the grant yet, but when we’re all ready to go on holiday we will be taking up the very generous offer. I remember the first Xmas party we attended (which we almost didn’t) was fantastic, it lifted all of us and now, we are always excited for the next one (no pressure Katie!) I think we are all very lucky to have Katie in our lives. Xxxx”
In December 2014 and 2015, we held our Christmas party. We invite all families to attend the party and enjoy every minute. The families are treated to lots of craft activities including cookery and making personalised memorabilia.
We are also joined by the wonderful Allison Johnson from Allison Johnson Pictures (http://www.allisonjohnsonpictures.co.uk) who takes amazing family pictures for all of the families.
This year we were also joined by Vanessa of Nessasneedles (http://www.nessasneedles.co.uk) who helped the children to make personalised Christmas decorations.
We also have a wonderful cake made for us by the wonderful Velvet Cakery. (https://www.facebook.com/thevelvetcakery131/)
Father Christmas visits us which all the children love, and the charity buys all the children and their siblings a Christmas gift which he delivers. We also buy a little gift for the parents too.
The party is a wonderful opportunity to spend time with other families who understand what life is like having a child with cancer and how difficult things can be. More importantly it’s amazing to create such smiles and make some very brave and special children very happy.