Bear hugs for Jake when he needs them most


Hospital is no place for a child to spend Christmas. Yet for a child with cancer, there is no other choice than to remain in hospital while receiving treatment. This is why Cancer Support UK is aiming to send 1,500 gorgeous cuddly bears to children’s cancer wards across the UK , to help make Christmas extra special for those children.

Our warmable Christmas teddies can bring a child comfort when they need it most and Cancer Support UK has been busy contacting hospitals and hospices to arrange for the bears to reach children that need a cuddle the most.

Caring staff at one hospital, The Royal Belfast Hospital for Sick Children, alerted Cancer Support UK to the case of one child in particular, who needed a special bear hug – right now.

Gemma Holding, Cancer Support UK’s CEO, said:

“When we heard about this brave little boy, Jake, who has had a really tough ride with cancer, we knew we wanted to do something sooner rather than later. So, as our Cuddles bear drop isn’t due to take place until towards the end of December, we decided to send him an early surprise gift in the shape of Charlie, our Cancer Support UK bear ambassador.”

Jake with mum Karen

Jake and his mum Karen

Jake is just five years old and a fun, caring little chap who will be turning six just two days before Christmas. His mum, Karen, said: “He’s always joking about and likes to make everyone laugh. But he also loves his quiet time watching his favourite programmes and playing on his tablet.”

However, last Christmas wasn’t so much fun for Jake. He was in hospital undergoing vital intensive treatment for Aggressive T Cell Lymphoblastic Lymphoma, so Christmas was a very quiet affair.

This Christmas is looking equally difficult, as Jake’s immune system has been hit hard by all the treatment he has received.

Jake loves Christmas, in particular singing carols and decorating the tree with his sister, Emelia, so the family will do everything they can to still make it special. He has his Christmas list all prepared and is very excited about Santa. His favourite hobby is playing Roblox and his all-time favourite food is Pepperoni Pizza.

Karen describes the moment Jake was given Charlie bear:

Jake Oliver“Jake was so excited when he unwrapped Charlie – he wrapped him up in his blanket straightaway. He has already come in very useful when Jake had a cold. We heated Charlie up and popped him into bed beside him. Thank you so much for letting us be part of Cuddles for Christmas – Jake absolutely loves his Charlie bear.”

In 2020 we helped 4,952 people during their cancer journey, and as a small charity who receive no government support, you are a vital part of our work. For example, a donation of £5 could pay for a pair of toasty warm socks, included in our Kids’Kit, to help with the common side-effect of cold feet during cancer treatment. Please help us send more Kids’ Kits out to children like Mara by making a donation – thank you.