Donation boosts ‘beads of courage’

Donation boosts ‘beads of courage’

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Tunbridge Wells Hospital

The Hedgehog children’s ward at Tunbridge Wells Hospital has recieved a £1,000 donation with the cheque being handed to a rather special patient.

Lucy and Chris Fox, of local charity Megan’s Wish List, presented a cheque to five-year-old Jasmin Turner and her mum Lizzie.

Helen Stevens, Paediatric Oncology Clinical Nurse Specialist, and Play Specialist Sue Edwards accepted the gift on behalf of the unit at Pembury.

Megan’s Wish List was set up by the family and friends of Megan Fox, who died of a brain tumour in 2014 aged 17.

The charity aims to raise money to help ­local children and teenagers who suffer from life-changing illnesses and disabilities.

The money will be used to allow the unit to continue to sponsor the Beads of Courage initiative, which helps children receiving treatment for cancer.

Each time a young person has a procedure, test or treatment, they are given a bead. The colour of the bead signifies what has happened – for example, white beads relate to having chemotherapy, light green beads are for scans such as x-rays and MRIs, and yellow beads are given after an overnight stay in hospital.

The beads help children to make sense of the experience they are going through, and research has shown that the programme has contributed to a decrease in illness-related stress and an increase in the use of positive coping strategies.

Megan collected the beads during her treatment and her parents are keen for other young patients to be able to do the same.

Mrs Fox said: “We are delighted to be able to donate this money to the Hedgehog Ward to help with the Beads of Courage programme.

“We know that the beads helped Megan to cope and we hope the money we have handed over today will help many ­other children, and their families, to get through difficult times.”

Jasmin, from Crowborough, was diagnosed with leukaemia eight months ago. She has collected the beads ­throughout her treatment, and now has more than 200.

Her mother Lizzie said: “The beads of courage have been brilliant for Jasmin.  They have really helped her get through some very difficult times and some ­extremely tough treatment.

“She has loved collecting them. It’s a way of marking each step towards getting better and a great coping mechanism for many children going through serious illness.”

For more information about the charity, visit: www.meganswishlist.com