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£4 million Children’s Cancer Centre Appeal to make it better for young patients

Press Release   •   Jul 24, 2012 15:20 BST

Birmingham Children’s Hospital launched its £4 million Children’s Cancer Centre Appeal today (24 July 2012), to help improve the lives of the 3,000 cancer patients and their families who are treated at the hospital each year.

The current unit is over 30 years old and the service itself has totally outgrown capacity. The £4 million Appeal, the biggest to date, will enable the Hospital to totally transform the facilities and accommodation, increase the space around patients’ beds, provide better communal areas for families and improve the outpatients area, which is now busier than ever before.

Eight year old cancer patient, Abigail Alessi, and her family from Walsall, helped out with the launch. Abi, one of the 250 children that are diagnosed with cancer at the hospital each year, is being treated for Ewings Sarcoma, a very rare type of bone cancer that only affects around 30 children in the UK every year.

Abi wanted to be involved with the Children’s Cancer Centre Appeal to raise awareness of the life-saving work of the Hospital and encourage people to donate. Her brave image is being featured on billboard posters promoting the Appeal around the city.

Abi’s dad, Marchello, said: “We spend most of our time on the cancer unit and although the care is excellent, the environment is cramped and dull with little privacy at those difficult times. It would be great to have a new unit that gives children and families all the space they need as well as being more cheerful.

“I urge everyone to make a donation to the Children’s Cancer Centre Appeal, no matter how big or small, as it really will make such a difference to everyone being treated here.”

Sarah-Jane Marsh, Chief Executive, said:  “Our young patients with cancer are some of the sickest children and young people in the region. Some stay with us for up to a year, and many more visit the hospital regularly throughout their childhood, so it’s really important that we provide them with the best experience possible.

“Our existing ward and outpatient areas desperately need upgrading but we can’t do it without the support of local people. There are so many ways for people to get involved and help us reach our £4 million target, so please get in touch today to find out how you can help make it better for so many young people with cancer.”

To get involved:

  • Make a donation online
  • Join our Great Birmingham Run team
  • Host your own event or personal challenge
  • Get your company involved with our Office Olympics fundraiser
  • Join our schools fundraising programme

Go to for more details.

Some of the fun and interactive interior design themes under consideration include ‘outer space’, ‘water world’, ‘jungle’ and ‘race track’. The Hospital team will be working closely with patients, staff and the Hospital’s Young Person’s Advisory Group to make sure they get the right design.

Cancer facts and stats

  • Cancer is the most common cause of death in UK children aged between 1 and 15.
  • Every year around 1,700 children are diagnosed with cancer in the UK. Around 250 of these (15%) are treated at BCH.
  • The three most common types of childhood cancer (accounting for 2 in 3 of every case) are leukaemia, brain tumours and lymphoma.
  • For every 100 children diagnosed with cancer almost 80 now survive.
  • BCH is one of only 2 centres in the UK providing national specialist centres offering care for children diagnosed with retinoblastoma – a  rare form of eye cancer affecting around 40 – 50 children per year in the UK (accounting for 3% of all childhood cancers)

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:

Our facilities include:


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