Updated: Sep 25, 2021
Ruby's cancer treatment was all provided by the NHS. But there lots of other aspects of Ruby's care and support that were provided by an array of amazing charities, to whom we'd like to say a big thank you. These include:
Teenage Cancer Trust - provide amazing facilities at the Royal Marsden hospital for teenagers and young people going through cancer treatment. We were lucky that Ruby was able to stay in one of their specialist units, which are equipped for a parent to stay with their child, so Ruby never had to wake up on her own.
Clic Sargent - provide families of children and young people with support in areas such as accessing disability payments. They also offer local accommodation to families that have to travel a long way to hospital.
Maggies - provide the most amazing centres close to many of the UK's cancer centres, including the Royal Marsden. While Ruby was an inpatient but well enough to leave the ward for a few hours at a time, she spent many hours in Maggies with friends and family - a glorious space filled with light and beautiful furniture and art; it felt a world away from the hospital, its uniforms, machinery and clinical smell.
Rays of Sunshine - offer a variety of activities that help to make long hospital stays more bearable and even, at times, fun. (The caricature of Ruby created by one of their artists is pictured on this page.)
Supershoes - create fabulous bespoke Converse trainers for young cancer patients. They made a pair for Ruby featuring a selection of handpainted flowers; Ruby loved them.
Little Princess Trust - provide every child and young person facing hair loss through cancer treatment with a custom-made, real hair wig. Ruby got her wig just before her hair fell out and it was a huge morale boost.
Future Fertility Trust - offer future fertility hope for young women whose cancer treatment is likely to destroy their fertility. The pre-transplant radiotherapy destroyed Ruby's fertility. Thanks to this charity, ahead of the transplant, Ruby had an ovary removed and cryopreserved to give her the chance of having children in the future.
St Christopher's Hospice - provided Ruby with fantastic support and care in her last few days, enabling her to die at home, as she wishes, free from pain. They continue to support Ruby's family with counselling
Callum's Cabin - offer amazing accommodation on the Isle of Bute to families of children undergoing cancer treatment. They continue to support Ruby's family with mindfulness sessions.
The Good Grief Project runs retreats for bereaved parents, focussed on supporting parents to create 'continuing bonds' with their children.
We're so grateful to them all. ♥