When you become so seriously ill as a child or teenager that you have to spend months and sometimes years in and out of hospital the creation of some happier memories during an often painful and upsetting time becomes very important. At times like this a small donation truly can go a long way.
The incredible generosity from customers of The Entertainer, where one in two customers who can donate via Pennies choose to, has seen well over £100K raised and shared between four children’s hospitals. One of the recipients is IMAGINE Appeal, the charity for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, where your donations help supply patients with arts and craft supplies, books and better medical equipment.
After being diagnosed with cancer of the blood and bone marrow, one of Alder Hey’s patients Emily Coventry, 15, had to spend Christmas 2010 in the hospital when the bone marrow transplant she received from her sister Sarah began attacking her body. It developed into chronic Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), affecting her entire body.
Spending the next six months in Alder Hey fighting all kinds of viruses and infections, Emily ended up needing splints to correct her joints and developed cataracts. Despite this being an unsettling time she also has some happy memories of trying her hand at different arts and crafts with the nurses.
“Throughout my time at Alder Hey, the Oncology play specialists Pip and Caroline have kept me busy with various activities,” says Emily.
“I have done Japanese weaving, fimo clay modeling, bead work, sewing, cutting and sticking, painting and much more! Doing these activities has really helped take my mind off things and kept me preoccupied. It has also provided physiotherapy for my hands. I have limited movement in my hands, a side effect of my GVHD, and doing the arts and crafts activities has really helped improve this.”
This is one of the areas your donations help, covering the £500 it costs for a pack of materials like the ones used by Emily to distract herself from chemotherapy treatment.
And art also comes in handy for distracting younger children spending time in A&E; in total, 22,000 crayons are given to children in Alder Hey’s emergency department every year, with a pack of crayons costing £1. So far Alder Hey has received nearly £25,000 from customers at The Entertainer, which could supply children at the hospital with all their crayons for a year! Plus some extra to cover the £2000 for a wheelchair to help them make the transition back to school and normality that little bit easier.