When Elsbeth and Michael Hallam set up the Hugs from Henry Charity, they felt very passionately about helping families going through childhood cancer, Neuroblastoma, after seeing their son Henry battle the disease in 2012/2013.
Since the treatment ended Henry is now developing the later side effects of treatment such as hearing dificulties, fused vertebrae, poor motor skills, IBS, and other bowel problems. These are all long-term effects caused by the harsh treatments received during his fight against cancer.
The family have also seen a huge loss of life to many families due to the illness and its treatments including many families they knew personally from their own journey. This drives the family to make as much of a difference as possible to the families also affected by this disease.
This month sees the charity third birthday and over these three years Hugs from Henry has supported over 300 families with wishes, grants, emotional support and group days and events, which is a real achievement in a small amount of time. The charity has plans this year to hold another childrens cancer ball, group days out, more hospital visits including bringing the superheroes and Princesses from ‘Plymouth Party Princesses’ .
The Charity also feels that more could and should be done towards research into treatments for the disease, while always having a keen eye on new treatments and their availability around the world. It is felt that more could be done in the UK to enhance the availability of world leading treatment in the UK. Funding into childhood cancer is historically overlooked, mainly due to the perception of the disease being “rare” and therefore the funding is insufficient. The last 10 years there have been 50 new drugs and treatments for adult cancers while childhood cancers has only had three new drugs developed in over 30 years!
However, the landscape is changing due to the fantastic work that charities such as Hugs from Henry, Solving Kids Cancer, Smile with Siddy, Children with Cancer UK to name but a few who are driving new research projects in the UK. In the 5 years since Henry’s diagnosis we have seen a significant change. When Henry was diagnosed in 2012 there was no protocol for relapsed Neuroblastoma. Since then a new relapse trial named BEACON has opened providing much needed hope for so many families battling this horrendous diagnosis.
Hugs from Henry feel passionately that more can be done and after much consideration and review of new and exciting trials we have decided to work in partnership with Solving Kids Cancer (SKC) research advisory board to fund the best and most exciting research projects and trials available in the UK that will make a huge difference and save the lives of so many children suffering this hideous disease.
We are very proud to say that this year we have been able to donate five thousand pounds to Solving Kids Cancer to enhance this research.
Historically families, including Henry’s family, had to consider treatment abroad or have had to battle for additional treatment in the UK. SKC have a real passion to make a difference and work tirelessly to make a difference by supporting families currently undergoing treatments to ensure they can access trials throughout the UK and around the world. They also provide a unique yearly parent conference, giving parents the chance to listen to the worlds leading paediatric oncologists present information about the ongoing and future trials. Last year we sponsored this event and are very proud to say we will be sponsoring the conference again this year.
We would not be able to achieve any of our charity objectives if it wasn’t for the public ongoing support of the charity. We would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who fundraises for us, donates, volunteers their time and continue to spread the word about what we are trying to achieve. We were able to help many families and now donate to research because you took the time to support us…. THANK YOU!
If you would like to support us in any way please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or to fundraise please contact our head of fundraising Vicky Hanton, email@example.com.
Alternatively if you would simply like to make a donation to the charity please donate through Just-giving