A charity set up in memory of a four-year-old Milton Keynes boy who died of a childhood cancer has raised almost £89,000 last year.
The Henry Allen Trust uses the money to help other children and their families battling cancer.
Little Henry was diagnosed with Stage 4 High Risk Neuroblastoma at the age of two. He died two years later, in October 2013, at the age of four.
During his many stays in hospital for treatment, caring Henry told his mum and dad he wanted to help other children with cancer and make them happy.
The Henry Allen Trust was formed to make that wish come true, and Henry's mum Dawn Allen is the director.
She said: “Henry made so many friends in hospital and you do become like a family. This meant that we could share experiences whilst in hospital and everyone had the same frustrations and concerns,. This is where we
chose to build the foundation of support that The Henry Allen Trust provides.”
in 2018 the Trust used some of the money raised to fund the first “Trained by Henry” nurse for Children’s Oncology Nursing Team.
The Trust also provide treats and wishes to help families create special memories and realise dreams. These included iPads and laptops for schoolwork, family holidays, treats while having treatments abroad, a VIP trip to the zoo, and driving lessons.
It provide a monthly support group meeting and online hangout for families battling childhood cancer to share their experiences and give the children a chance to meet and play with other children without feeling out of place or different.
The Trust supports families with grants to ensure that they have the money available to cover travel and accommodation expenses, rent or mortgage payments, purchase of passports for treatment abroad, or emergency repair bills.
Dawn said: “It is natural to think that what we can’t do today can be done tomorrow. When you have a child with cancer you do not know how many tomorrows you actually have. Being able to create a special memory where it is you and your child rather than a patient is immeasurable,” said Dawn.
She added: “Henry was too young to have his wish granted by a national charity and by the time he was old enough it was too late. We know first-hand how important those special moments are to parents and that is something we are truly dedicated to building.”
Trustee Nicola Case said: “The work we do and the feedback from the health professionals we work alongside as well as the families we support is truly exceptional. But this all comes at a cost. For less than a cup of coffee a month the adult population of Milton Keynes could fund our treats and wishes programme for a year.”
The Trust has just announced its Christmas Pledge Appeal, asking people to donate £2, or whatever they can afford, between now and December 24.
You can take part by texting THAT4 £2 to 70470.