Ben’s Epic Journey
Ben’s Epic Christmas Boxes
Fundraising Project for Christmas Gift Boxes
5 November 2019
As some of you are aware, our son, Ben, was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and Lyme Disease in June 2018. He subsequently underwent chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant from an Angel unrelated donor last October.
We managed to have Christmas at home, almost six months to the day that he was diagnosed and spent a further beautiful five months at home, before things started to change.
Ben relapsed in July 2019 and we were hopeful that he would respond to treatment that would lead to a possible second stem cell transplant. However, the disease was very aggressive and so, heartbreakingly, this wasn’t possible.
Benny made it to his 12th birthday in the summer, which he enjoyed in Piam Brown Ward, Southampton, with some close friends and family. Just six days later, after getting him home on the Friday, he died in my arms on Saturday 10th August 2019.
Ben grew so much in such a short space of time; both in knowledge, age, as well as in heart and wisdom. He never wanted any association with cancer and certainly didn’t want to be defined by it. In his last few days, he humbly told me he would give up his life if other children could be healthy. In my heart, as his mum, I felt very much that he was handing the baton to me to continue a legacy of kindness for the children and families affected by childhood cancer.
There were few things more exciting to Ben than Christmas and so we are raising funds under the Project name of Ben’s Epic Journey, the name of his blog, to be able to create beautiful Christmas gift boxes for the children on the three wards Ben was treated in.
We will arrange these according to the requests of the types of gifts the Hospitals have asked for, to be delivered to the wards Ben spent time in, for every child to open on Christmas Day.
Ben was very well cared for by the amazing NHS teams of Nurses, Doctors and Consultants over the last fourteen months of his life. We were very grateful to be able to get him home over last Christmas, something that a lot of children going through treatment, sadly won’t get the opportunity to do. So, we would like to make their Christmas in hospital a little easier and we would like to start the ball rolling with this fundraiser to see what miracles may come.
The Hospitals are:
Starfish Ward, Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth
Piam Brown Ward, Southampton Hospital
Starlight Ward, Bristol
The three wards accommodate approximately fifty children, but if we exceed our target, we may be able to then stretch to the two other Day wards, which Ben also visited, which would take us to about 75 boxes.
The intention is to start here with the Christmas Boxes, reach our target (at least!) of £5,000 and to continue in the New Year to focus on various projects to benefit children and families coping with childhood cancer. Any funds left over from this fundraiser will be donated to The Rainbow Trust, who have been providing ongoing support to our family and particularly, our two girls, Ben’s sisters.
You can find out more about Ben’s story via his blog here at: www.bensepicjourney.org
You can also contact us here at: [email protected]
All donations are non-refundable, but will be used for good as part of our lovely boy’s legacy of kindness to others.