To kick off our new Send a Hug campaign, we have donated 53 “hero” goody boxes to staff working on Ward 31 at Leeds Children’s Hospital.
Founder Jonathan decided to donate a set of “Send a Hug” goody boxes to NHS workers in Leeds, after hearing the inspirational story of a local family living with childhood cancer.
The Group Hug team initially met Leyburn resident Tanya Woodcock during our We Will Meet Again initiative aimed at boosting spirits in the local community during lockdown.
Tanya and Ian Clarkson’s daughter Emily was diagnosed with infant leukaemia at just 9 months old in July 2018. Since then, she has endured numerous operations and blood transfusions at The Leeds Children’s Hospital, based at the LGI.
Since April, Emily has been an inpatient at the hospital and has undergone various treatments, including chemotherapy, which has had dramatic side effects including anaphylactic shock and sepsis. Emily is now preparing for a life-changing bone marrow transplant.
Due to Covid-19 restrictions, Tanya and Emily have had to isolate on the children’s cancer ward and have been unable to see other family members for over two months.
Tanya explains: “The hospital haven’t allowed parents to switch due to the pandemic, so I was separated from my son for two months. The lead nurse then allowed the switch to happen, so I could spend a fortnight at home with Oliver. I felt so apprehensive leaving Emily and it’s been really emotional as I can’t split myself in two, but I have a great support network helping me.”
Since we have just launched our new “Send a Hug” campaign encouraging people to send a goody box or gift card to someone they care about or wish to thank, Jonathan thought it would be fitting to donate a set of “hero” goody boxes to the team supporting Emily’s recovery.
Emily and her mum handed out goody boxes to all 53 keyworkers on Ward 31 earlier this week. Ward nurse Danielle told us about her reaction: “I felt so emotional when Emily gave me my hero goody box. It was lovely to be recognised for just doing my job.”
Tanya said: “To be able to nominate just a few of the incredible team in Leeds is such an honour. Although it will never be enough to thank them for what they are doing to save our daughter’s life, it was fantastic to see the smiles on people’s faces when we handed them out.”
We now want to acknowledge another local ward as part of our new Send a Hug campaign.
You can purchase a hero goody box for a member of staff on the ward by visiting our donation page: grouphugapp.org/shop/send-a-hero-hug/.
Any remaining profits will go towards a Volunteer Support Programme for our free mental health app launching March 2021.
To learn more about our latest campaign and other “Send a Hug” products, click here.
For more about Emily’s story, please follow the Team Emily fundraising page on Facebook.