The parents of a young boy suffering from a rare form of cancer have raised thousands of pounds for the Nottingham hospital children’s ward in just 21 days.
Sean Hughes was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia on December 7, last year.
The eight-year-old was taken to his GP the day before the diagnosis for a routine appointment for a referral to an occupational therapist to help with his Dyspraxia.
Sean’s father, John Hughes said: “He was diagnosed completely out of the blue, you do get a few signs, only very minor signs, and he went to the doctors and we had no idea it would be so serious.”
Sean’s parents have raised £20,155 using Just Giving pages for Ward E39 at Nottingham QMC.
The ward is missing basic amenities such as tea, coffee, milk, bread, toys, kettle, microwaves, and washing machines.
Sean’s mother, Sarah Curtis said: “The ward has 15 beds, with 15 very poorly children and 15 sets of parents and siblings, whose whole concept of normality has been turned upside down.”
“Sean is currently on the teenage ward and it has all these things, like Xboxes and TVs, but the children’s ward here where he should be, has none of this. We want to use this money to buy things like wardrobes for the children’s ward and Xboxes that the older children would use.”
The money raised was initially going to be spent on day-to-day items however, John and Sarah will now have to re-think what they will spend the money on.
Mr Hughes said: “In terms of recreation there is not much going on in the children’s ward.”
“My colleagues have just given us presents to bring to him, the ward has games but we can’t spend the whole £20,000 on games and toys.”
There are around 70 children in the UK with this type of Leukaemia.
John said they hadn’t expected to raise the amount of money they have raised in just 66 days.
The 38-year-old said: “I am pleasantly surprised, I didn’t expect to raise so much, we set a six month target because his treatment lasts six months.”
John and Sarah are currently in the process of setting up a charity due to the large sum of money that has been raised.
Acute Myeloid Leukaemia is treated using a combination of intensive chemotherapy, radiotherapy, and bone marrow or stem cell transplants.
John and Sarah want to raise as much awareness about the rare form of Leukaemia as possible.
Sarah said: “The cancer world is like a whole hidden world and once you enter it you realise how much people don’t know.”
“We need more blood donations, we need about 20 donations just for Sean so it’s hard, it’s really hard. People sometimes don’t do bone marrow transfusions because they think it will hurt.”
Sean is described by his dad to be a ‘happy chap who isn’t hard to keep entertained’, he has just finished his first course of chemotherapy.
The Nottingham Queens Medical centre is a specialist hospital in treating rare types of Leukaemia.
Alison Hayward, a spokesperson for the Nottingham Hospitals charity said: “John is looking to use the money raised to purchase the items himself, he has made contact with our fundraising team.”