Tom’s Trust treated the children we support to some wonderful gifts while they were spending time in hospital over the Christmas period. We received this heartfelt letter, which we’d love to share with all of our supporters.
Dear Tom’s Trust,
I am writing to thank you for your extremely generous donation for Christmas gifts for the children who use our service.
At a time that much of the UK is gearing up for fun and celebration, Christmas can feel extremely challenging for our families. We have such a mix of children and young people attending clinic in the run up to Christmas, including children who are on active treatment, those who are attending for anxiety-raising routine scans, and those who have recently found that their tumour is no longer considered curable. Some families carry the burden of knowing that this is likely to be their last Christmas with their child. Over the Christmas school holiday period we also see a greater number of siblings attending along with families, and get the chance to find out how things are for them. We are always reminded of how hidden siblings’ needs are, and of how significant the impact upon them is of having a brother or sister with a brain tumour. We know that our efforts over the Christmas period can’t take away the worry, pain, or grief that this period can bring, but we do our best to make them aware that they are not alone and that there is support.
Many of our parents were very grateful. During a cost of living crisis, the additional economic burden that cancer brings hits harder than usual. I know that some of our children would have received very few Christmas gifts and that they will treasure your funders’ provision.
As you know, this year your funding provided a range of books and soft toys to the smaller children. The toy snowmen in particular were a great hit, but very closely followed by the reindeer and the Santas! The very small children loved the ‘That’s not my Reindeer’ books. For the older children, bags were made up to include ‘reindeer fur’ hot water bottles, bags of marshmallows, and hot chocolate. These were hugely appreciated. I wish we could show you the look on teenagers’ faces as they open their bag. As we know, sometimes it’s the little things that can mean a lot.
Once again, our thanks to you and your funders for making such a difficult time for families that little bit better.
With best wishes,
Dr Sarah Verity
Paediatric Neuropsychologist and Clinical Psychologist
Great North Children’s Hospital