Children’s Ward Helped By Bethany’s Wish
9 December 2016
The Children’s Unit at University Hospital has received a wonderful early Christmas present from local Charity Bethany’s Wish. More than 45 large boxes stuffed full of items children enjoy, including toys and puzzles and art and craft items, were donated to the unit so local children in hospital can enjoy them.
Bethany’s Wish was set up by parents Angela and Alberto Polanco, in 2012, after their daughter Bethany lost her fight to Wilms tumour, aged just eight years old. It was formed from donations they received during Bethany’s illness with the aim to help find a cure and to support other families suffering from Wilms tumour and other childhood cancers.
Recently, they took the difficult decision to close Bethany’s Wish but for it to continue as a Special Named Fund within the larger Charity the Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG), which will fund Wilms tumour research projects and help to support families around the UK.
“Bethany’s Wish was formed out of the smile of our beautiful little girl, Bethany. Our aim was to help children affected by Wilms tumour and support families going through the same, offering a glimmer of hope for the journey that is childhood cancer. Over the past 3 and a half years we have grown very rapidly and have touched the lives of many. We have witnessed overwhelming kindness, generosity and a sense of community from people around Coventry, Warwickshire, UK wide and also farther afield. This has truly overwhelmed us as a family and we hope that we been able to give hope to families where none existed before and managed to make Bethany proud of what we have achieved in her memory. Her legacy will continue to live on and she will continue to live on in the hearts of those she touched”. Angela explained
Bethany hated to be in hospital, and the family collected a number of items that were useful to her when she had to go. This inspired the design of B’s Bravery Bear Packs given by Bethany’s Wish to children with Cancer to help with their treatments and to make hospital stays more comfortable - including a teddy bear, lip balm, wiggly bag, 1001 things book and lots more. As part of the closing Bethany’s Wish, Angela and the Trustees decided to donate the items they had left for the Bravery packs and other toys and games to University Hospital.
The donation was received by Play Specialist Jenny Waring who said
“This is an incredible early Christmas present for the Children’s ward; it will make hundreds of local children very happy while they are in our care. We are so grateful”