A senior nurse at Epsom Hospital who specialises in caring for children with cancer took the plunge and dyed her hair gold to raise funds and awareness for her patients.
Lucy Lloyd-James, the Deputy Clinical Nurse Specialist for Paediatric Oncology, went ‘gold’ for September to raise awareness of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and to raise funds for Momentum, a charity that provides support to children and their families in South West London, Surrey, and Sussex, who have been diagnosed with cancer or life-challenging conditions. Lucy said: “Hair is something that can be a sensitive subject for these children, so having a ‘mad’ hair colour or cut can help to bring a smile to them. This in turn helps to build on the trust we have with a child and their family.”
Although Lucy was determined to raise awareness for this good cause, it was a colleague’s six year old son who suggested the fundraising aspect of this admirable venture. When Kathy Hogan, Senior Sister on the Paediatric Oncology Ward at Epsom, told her son Reece about Lucy’s idea he asked why they couldn’t raise money as well and help to “make sick people better”. Reece is no stranger to fundraising, and despite his young age, raised money in aid of cancer last year by running Epsom’s Race for Life, donating a total of £250 to Cancer Research. This year Reece also took part in a virtual fun run with his school, and helped contribute another £1,000 in donations to Cancer Research. Together, Reece and Lucy set an initial target of £200 to donate to Momentum, but had already reached that by the end of the first week of September.
Lucy said: “Reece and I chose to fundraise for Momentum because they support the Epsom Paediatric Oncology Shared Care Unit (POSCU) in the most amazing ways. They help to provide nice surprises when the kids or families are struggling, they provide financial support for families, as well as supportive therapies such as music therapy and massage therapy, they donate toys and mobile games consoles, and they fund a lot of decoration on the ward, especially in the cubicles that POSCU patients stay in to prevent infection.”
Epsom and St Helier supports Childhood Cancer Month annually, and in previous years Lucy has helped to raise awareness and show support to children and their families receiving care in Paediatric Oncology.
Due to COVID-19 many charities have struggled with a loss of income and fewer donations being made. Epsom and St Helier Hospitals Charity uses money from donations and campaigns to help support our staff in providing outstanding care to every patient, every day. To host a fundraising event in our honour, please let us know by emailing us on firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 01372 735 735.
If you’d like to support Reece and Lucy you can visit their Just Giving page to donate here.
For more information about Epsom and St Helier University Hospitals Trust, visit www.epsom-sthelier.nhs.uk.