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.
The 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 the Whittington Hospital, 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 girl, Audrey, who is having a really tough ride with cancer, we knew we wanted to do something sooner rather than later. So, we decided to send her an early surprise gift in the shape of Charlie, our Cancer Support UK bear ambassador.”
Audrey was four years old when she was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. She’d been more tired than usual and had a couple of falls where she’d developed swelling that wouldn’t go away.
The family’s local GP put the various symptoms together and following blood tests Audrey was transferred to Great Ormond Street Hospital.
Audrey’s mum, Delphine, said: “Our world fell apart when doctors confirmed the diagnosis, and we immediately started the long treatment journey. It’s not been a walk in the park, but Audrey has impressed everyone with her resilience and positive outlook.
“We’re so thankful to the team at The Whittington Hospital and Great Ormond Street Hospital who have supported Audrey and us as a family every step of the way – they’ve been amazing.”
Audrey has battled numerous infections, including anaphylactic shock from one of the medicines, meningitis and she caught Covid at the beginning of the pandemic. Two years on she is still in treatment and taking chemotherapy daily, but she is happy to be back at school.
After all Audrey has been through, the bear from Cancer Support UK has become a firm favourite.
Delphine said: “Audrey’s warmie teddy bear has brought her much needed comfort when she is feeling a bit down or just tired. She particularly likes that she can warm it up in the microwave to give him a cuddle. The scent is amazing and very calming too.”
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 Audrey by making a donation – thank you.