Eight year-old Jack Clayson from Bidford-on-Avon took part in a gruelling 40 mile bike ride on to raise money for Birmingham Children’s Hospital’s £4m Cancer Centre Appeal.
Jack has raised over £3,700 for the hospital to say ‘thank you’ to the staff for looking after his little sister Esme – who at the age of just four years old has already undergone two bone marrow transplants.
In August 2011 Esme developed a rare form of cancer - Juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia (JMML). With no treatment available, her only option was a bone marrow transplant and after a four month wait, a bone marrow match was finally found and the transplant was carried out just before Christmas.
Esme spent several weeks in the Oncology High Dependency Unit following her transplant before being allowed to go home in February. Weeks later, however, Esme was readmitted and parents Naomi and Grant were told that the transplant had failed.
Whilst waiting for her second transplant, Esme became very ill and was admitted to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit at the hospital with respiratory failure. Fearing the worst, Jack said his goodbyes to his little sister but Esme battled on and just two weeks later – immediately after their fourth birthday in April - she had her second transplant.
Esme has since gone home but has to return to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for regular check-ups.
Jack who cycled from Tewksbury to Bidford-on-Avon, said: “I have watched Esme go through one of the toughest challenges I could ever imagine. The nurses and doctors of Birmingham Children's hospital are incredible and have helped her through the good times and bad.
“They want to raise £4 million to renovate the children's cancer ward, where parents and children, like us, find themselves 'living' for many months. The reason I chose a 40 mile bike ride to help towards this target is because this is the same distance my mum and dad had to travel to be with my sister every day whilst she was in hospital. The ride was hard work but worth it.”
Naomi, who is Esme and Jack’s mum, said: “We are very proud of Jack for achieving his challenge and deciding to raise money for the Children’s Cancer Centre Appeal. He is already planning his next fundraising challenge for the Appeal.”
Jack’s Justgiving page is http://www.justgiving.com/Jack-Clayson
Picture caption: Jack and his sister Esme present Birmingham Children’s Hospital with a cheque for over £3,700
Birmingham Children’s Hospital NHS Foundation Trust provides a comprehensive service to children, young people and their families.
We are one of the leading paediatric teaching centres in the country, with international research and development in areas such as:
- Childhood cancer studies
- Liver disease
- Infection, inflammation and immunity
- Molecular genetics of childhood conditions (how these are passed on, and how they cause disease in the body in terms of chemistry)
- Nutrition, growth and metabolism in childhood
- Drug use in children
- Relapsed and refractory acute lymphoblastic leukaemia
- Infant neuroblastoma
- Infant brain tumours
Our facilities include:
- A 22 bedded Paediatric Intensive Care Unit
- A centre of excellence for children with cancer, cardiac, liver and renal disease
- A national transplant centre
- 280 inpatient and day-case beds including Child and Adolescent Mental Health Services
- 38 specialties and supporting departments
- An Emergency Department dealing with over 45,000 patients a year
- Twelve theatres
- Three MRI scanners
- A CT Scanner
- An endoscopy suite
- A catheter laboratory with digital imaging facility
- Burn, Neonatal Surgery and Education Centre
- Wellcome Clinical Research Facility
- Renal Unit
- Teenage Cancer Trust Unit
- Ronald McDonald House (parent and family accommodation).