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Sponsored Walk Helps Brighten Children's Ward

Published: 14th September 2017 08:32

After Charlie Harris (aged 7) finished his own Leukaemia treatment at the start of September, he wanted to help other children like him being treated at Queen Alexandra Hospital by making the long hours spent in care that little bit more fun.  

Charlie and his family set up their own charity ‘Kicking Cancer for Charlie’ within the Children's Cancer and Leukaemia Group and organised a 33 mile sponsored walk from Southampton Hospital to Queen Alexandra Hospital in Cosham with 40 walkers all keen to help Charlie buy brand new toys and activities for children with cancer.

The walkers braved a difficult trek through adverse weather conditions but were welcomed by a jubilant crowd at QA Hospital. One walker, Mark said: “We’ve pushed through and we’re a little late, but we have 33 very happy ladies who have all had a great day. I’m really proud of all of them.”

The walkers gathered to watch Charlie cut the ribbon on hundreds of toys donated to the children’s cancer unit.

Marie Harris, Charlie’s mum, described their journey, “I feel tired and sore but really proud of what we did today, and of what we’ve donated to the (Starfish) Ward. It’s all so we can give something back to the Ward because they’ve looked after Charlie throughout his treatment, so it’s been a tough but really good day.

“Charlie has been going through treatment for 3 and a half years for a rare Leukaemia, and he’s spent most of those years in Starfish (ward), it has been our second home, and he finished his oral chemo in early September, so this was just a great way of giving back to the Ward- because they have looked after us all, not just Charlie, my girls and our friends and family, so they really have been good.

"Charlie is awesome, he’s a strong, stubborn little boy - and this was his idea!

"We put out an ask on Facebook about our toy donation. Charlie could sell ice to eskimos, so people just kept giving and giving. There are even toys more to come which we will bring onto Starfish ward soon.”

Tracy Morgan, children’s unit play specialist at QA expressed her gratitude on behalf of staff on Starfish Ward: “It’s really appreciated, it has gone a long way, and we can’t thank you enough, so from all of us on Starfish- thank you!

"I’ve been in communication with Marie for some time, and they approached me with this idea and asked what kinds of things the Ward needed. They’ve gone over and above what we expected. Their donation in enormous and they’ve put in all of their own time and effort for such a good cause.

"Marie and Charlie know themselves how frustrating being in hospital can get, so toys and games are so important for our patients. We can’t thank them enough.”

Visit Kicking Cancer for Charlie’s Facebook page to support them in future.

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