People across Suffolk and North Essex are being urged to support a children’s hospice and see their donations doubled during this year’s Big Give Christmas Challenge.
The UK’s biggest online matched funding campaign will run from 30th November until 7th December and could make a major difference to East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH).
All donations made during that time will be doubled thanks to a pot of funds provided by key EACH supporters and partners of The Big Give.
Money raised will go directly to supporting the charity’s bereavement services and today’s launch coincides with EACH releasing an emotional interview with mum Nicky Brown, from Grundisburgh, in Suffolk.
Nicky’s eleven-year-old son Tom fought a brave battle with cancer before dying on 16th January, 2021.
Now Nicky is calling on the public to support EACH during The Big Give, in order to raise vital funds to ensure other families benefit in a similar way.
She said: “We never thought we’d need to use the hospice.
“In fact, when we had Tom, we didn’t even know there was a children’s hospice in Ipswich.
“Unfortunately, you never know what’s round the corner or when someone you know or love may find themselves in that position.
“I hope and pray for anyone that that will never be the case but you never know.
“If you do need that care and support, it’s absolutely invaluable and I hope our situation inspires people to make a donation.”
Tom lived with a range of complex health issues, having been diagnosed with rare brain conditions polymicrogyria and schizencephaly when he was just a baby.
He also had chronic lung disease, meaning he was often in hospital with chest infections, and a severe form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.
Then came the dreaded C-word, in the form of Osteosarcoma.
The cancer was in his right leg and, with treatment out of the question, Nicky, 47, husband Tim, 50, Tom and brothers Ben, 18, and Luca, 9, moved into The Treehouse last Christmas Day.
It was there that Tom and his family received care and support from the team at EACH.
For Nicky and her family, who continue to receive bereavement support to help them through their grief, it promises to be a tough and emotional festive period – their first without Tom.
“I’m not looking forward to it and it’s never going to be the same again,” she said.
“We’ve all accepted that and so we’re going to do it a little differently to other years.
“Having said that, you have to bear in mind that I still have a little boy and I have to make sure it’s magical for Luca.”
To show your support, all you have to do is visit the Big Give website between 30th November and 7th December and make your donation to EACH.
To read Tom’s story, head here.