A friend asked me if I could do something to help a little girl who had a rare disease.
The 4 year old was suffering from a severe crippling disease. There were only 40 recorded cases in the world, two in the United Kingdom. Her parents desperately wanted to see doctors in Ohio, USA, who were researching the disease. I heard about another little girl, who had Elephant’s Man Disease. This beautiful 6 year old child, had already had chemotherapy twice. Her disease is progressive, and therefore, will worsen as she gets older. She now has a tumour behind her eyes.
I soon found out how soul-destroying it could be to raise funds. One Charitable Trust said: You are doing what is presumed to be the responsibility of the government. I was disgusted with this attitude. The media is always reporting how certain children in the UK need life saving treatment and surgery, especially when it is available abroad.
After I had raised the funds for these two children, I just wanted to get on with my Life. I had been a foster parent to 26 hard to place children, and I really needed a holiday. It was not to be. Other people thought I should carry on helping children. I thought about the many who are born with crippling diseases which are not detected on pre birth-scans. Three are also many children who are healthy at birth, but within the first 6 months of life, problems arise, and the child develops disabilities of varying degrees, some with brain damage.
Something had to be done!
There are treatments and therapies, but funds need to be available instantly. Last minute panics, to try to raise funds for surgery and treatment cause delays. This is the reason the TREE of HOPE was born.
We raise funds to pay for specialist medical treatment, therapy and equipment, which is not available from other services. We are not an alternative to the National Health Service. I felt strongly that charity would mean CHARITY and that raised funds would help give children a better quality of LIFE.
The work goes on. We can not help without YOU. Funds are always URGENTLY needed.
Life President and founder and former chair of original Tree of Hope Children’s Charity
As Tree of hope evolved, it was realised that there were a lot more children out there who needed treatment, that was not ordinarily provided by the health services in the UK.
With every family and child having individual needs for treatment, therapy and equipment, Tree of Hope became the platforms for families to fundraise for their specific goals.
Today we support over 800 families with their fundraising campaigns, helping children get the medical help they need for a better quality of life. Over 200 new families a year come to us for support.