What has been happening?
November 2013 – Visit to Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital
On 28th November Colin, Terasa and Max visited BRCH to see the newly opened Children / Adolescent Oncology Unit. Sam Pilcher Trust was involved in the planning of the unit and donated a small amount towards the staggering £3.5 million cost.
Martyn Carter from the Hospital’s school met us and kindly gave us a tour of the new unit. Martyn was marvellously supportive to Sam while he was in hospital. Terasa particularly remembers Martyn reading Robinson Crusoe to Sam when he was too poorly to do anything else.
It was thrilling to see how amazing the new unit now looks. We were able to meet some of the patients and their families, which was wonderful but also very emotional.
We brought goody bags for the children that included: a mini cuddly tiger, a book, the new Christmas Tiger Chocolate Bar ( courtesy of Heidi and Tony from the Cotswold Chocolate Company ) and a gift voucher.
We went into the Activity Room and gave out the goody bags to the children. One of the lovely patients we met was Lydia. Lydia has been through an awful time having been diagnosed in July with a form of bone cancer Osteosarcoma and has a tumour in her ankle, which has meant her leg had to be amputated. However, after being through all this she still looks beautiful and her strength and courage is something that is constantly in our minds since meeting her and her brave mum.
After we continued our tour and saw another room that is used for school activities, Sam’s painting is now also proudly on display. In the corner of the room are a collection of books that included the Art books that we took to the hospital on our last visit. Martyn said they may be looking a little dog eared but we are glad as it means they are being used and enjoyed and the trust will only be too happy to buy new ones when necessary.
We next visited the Primary Oncology Ward where we met younger patients and the play specialist, Jeanette Sevier. She also looked after Sam when he was in hospital and helped to keep his spirits up with play activities. After we briefly went to the Day Care Unit, dropped in some more Goddie Bags and met Doctors we hadn’t seen for a long time. As the name indicates this unit is for children undergoing treatment and procedures that require a shorter visit.
Finally, our tour finished at the School Room where we met some more teachers from the Hospital School. This is a temporary school room as a new one is currently under construction. Martyn has invited us to visit when it’s completed. Here we also met Anna Shepherd, Deputy Director of the Wallace & Gromit Grand Appeal. The Appeal has many wonderful plans to help the hospital. Anna is going to send us a ‘ wish list ‘ for their current plans and we’re going to meet again in the New Year to discuss further. We left the hospital glowing but absolutely shattered. However, Martyn sent us this lovely email, which confirms how worthwhile our visit was. It also highlighted how much more there is for Sam Pilcher Trust to do.
Hope you enjoyed your visit here last week. I know that the patients and parents enjoyed the afternoon very much. I was just going to say that I thought that I would mention your charity at our Oncology meeting. I was going to point out to the social workers that you has an interest in supporting families as well as resources for the hospital. I hope that is okay as I was going to give out your email and it could be that you get a call quite soon. Martyn.
December 2013 – Bourton Late Night Christmas Shopping Event
On 6th December Sam Pilcher Trust was the Nominated Charity at Bourton Late night Christmas shopping event. It was a very successful evening for the trust.
Thank you so much to Will and Lucy from Wreal sports and Bean and Kirsty from Bensons Juices for making it all possible for the Trust. They also ensured that Colin and Terasa were interviewed for BBC Radio Gloucestershire and Cotswold TV to further promote SPT.
Special Thanks to Chris, Suzie, Tony and Emma who travelled all the way down from Kent just for the day to help on the stall.
Also, the launching of the candles was a wonderful sight and we thank Mike Boyes for his amazing photography that captures this so beautifully. ( Photos to follow )
Spirit of Stow Christmas Shopping Event
On 7th December Sam Pilcher Trust helped with the Park & Ride at the Spirit of Stow Christmas Shopping Event. The trust made the tidy sum of £350. Thank you for all the helpers who made this possible, especially Sam’s old mates: Toby, James, Ben, Oscar, Alfie, Alec and Max. Also Stow Cotswold Festival Committee who recommended the Trust after we did the car parking at the Festival due to our ‘ organisation and Professionalism’.
Registration & Web Site
We are very pleased to say that the Trust is now registered by the Charity Commission, the registration number 1151779.
The web site is now up and running too and can be viewed at sampilchertrust.org.uk. It is still being populated with information and photographs but is looking really professional. A special thanks to Andrew Stevens and Helen Keegan for their efforts to get this on line.
Sam’s Winter Hero – Jane Eeles
Jane helped support the trust when we carried out Car parking duties at the Spring Stow Fair. Jane has had a very difficult time as her daughter Danielle was born with Di George Syndrome. This is a Chromosome Disorder and is a horrible illness that affects the Heart, Lungs, Bowel, Speech and Immune system. It meant that Jane spent the first year of Danielle’s life in Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital. Danielle who is now almost 18 had had to endure many operations and will continue to need treatment for the rest of her life. mainly due to her heart condition. We send our love to Jane and Danielle and wish them both a very Merry Christmas and a much healthier and happier New Year.
Children & their Families that the Sam Pilcher Trust has Recently Helped
The Following provides an update of some Children / Families that the Sam Pilcher Trust has recently helped. These children have all been introduced to SPT by Clic Sargent social workers:
1. A 17 year old boy suffering with Leukaemia was struggling with travel costs to/from Bristol Royal Children’s Hospital for 8 weeks of Radiotherapy. Sam Pilcher Trust has granted £400.
2. A 15 month old little girl has Wilm’s Tumour and is reacting violently to her Chemotherapy treatment and is constantly vomiting on the carpets in their home. Sam Pilcher Trust has granted £388 towards the cost of buying and fitting laminate flooring ( Clic Sargent is covering the balance ).
3. A 16 month old little boy with a brain stem tumour was living in an overcrowded house. Clic Sargent has helped to find a larger home for the family and Sam Pilcher Trust has granted £250 to help towards the removal costs.
4. A young lady treated with a brain tumour has started a child care course. She is doing OK at the minute but she and her family are aware that the tumour will return but not when. Sam Pilcher Trust has agreed to cover the cost of a new lap top to help her on her child care course. The Trust sent Charlotte a cheque to buy an Acer Aspire laptop together with a Microsoft package.
5. Colin Terasa and Max went for a meeting with Dr Dilys Neil and colleagues from Gloucester Royal Hospital, two young people who are currently receiving treatment and their families. The meeting was hospitably hosted by Dean Clos School. The plans are to provide a major refit of the Teenager’s Activity Room, Treatment Cubicles and kitchen facilities in the Oncology Unit at Gloucester Royal Children’s Hospital.
6. A young man recently diagnosed with Leukaemia and about to undergo a BMT really wanted an I pad to help keep him entertained and in touch with friends etc. Tragically, his mum passed away last year and his Father hasn’t been able to return to work since, the Trust gladly brought Daryl an I Pad 64GB.
7. Another terrible tragedy the Trust has been informed is of a young man called Jack who was treated with Leukaemia when he was 7 years old and underwent a Bone Marrow Transplant. Devastatingly , two months ago he was suddenly diagnosed with a Brain Tumour that is thought to be the result of the Radiotherapy he received as a child. Jack is now terminally ill and is trying to make the most of his last months of life. All Jack asked for was a new Play Station as his last one broke. The Trust has brought Jack a new Play Station 3 with Grand Auto Theft.
8. A baby only 3 months old has recently been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia. His treatment will be mostly at Bristol Children’s Hospital including his BMT. His father is self – employed and finances are problematic and they have no family living in the UK. The baby needs a substantial pushchair due to his condition. Also, the baby is going through extra nappies due to the side effects of the Chemotherapy. The Trust is helping towards the cost of the pushchair and nappies.
‘ Thank Yous ‘
Here is a selection of the very touching thank you letters that we have received from these lovely people. We don’t need Thanks – we’re just so pleased to have helped. We just thought it would be good for our readers to know of the little bit of difference the Trust has made for these children in their very difficult lives.
Hi, I would just like to thank you for sending me a playstation, it has made a massive difference to my life as I have recently finished radiotherapy and feel tired a lot of the time so it gives me something to do indoors and helps me to relax, it is very kind of you and I really do appreciate it. Thank you once again ! Best wishes Jack Richards
Thank up it arrived today !!
First time I have seen Darryl smile in days !!! He asked me to say a big Thank You to you…x
Thank you for your email and your kind words in the newsletter. The gifts you brought were lovelyand a real highlight of our last stay. We were lucky enough to be given one of the large tigers and Lydia’s sister Florence adores it. Prior to Lydia’s operation they shared a room but since the amputation Lydia has been sleeping in a room downstairs. Florence has missed her desperately and the tiger has become Flo’s firm bed time favourite. I even get instructions on what to feed him when Flo is at school.
Lydia showed me some of Sam’s art work on the ward … just beautiful. I am constantly amazed by the people and families we have met since Lydia’s diagnoses. Seeing how others cope and loved life despite serious illness and loss is inspiring. Best wishes Hazel
Dear Terasa, I just wanted to write and thank you so much for your kind help towards Charlottes Laptop. We have managed to now get online, after a short delay, due to Charlotte’s health.
She is so pleased with it, its really making such a massive difference for her. She is able to do her course work in the quite of her bedroom away from the bustle of the rest of the family. She likes to boast how fast her laptop is compared to our family computer. So just what she needed. Thank you once again for your generosity yours sincerely Michelle Francis
Friday December 13th
Sam Pilcher Trust would like to say a big Thank You to all involved at The Cotswold School who very kindly agreed to hold a non school uniform event for us. They raised a fantastic sum of £615. Thank you for all your support.