We have set up Larsen's Fund in memory of our beautiful BEAUTIFUL boy, Larsen, to support Young Lives vs Cancer (formerly CLIC Sargent).
Young Lives vs Cancer was a charity that I had heard of but not thought twice about until they stepped in to support. If you are a parent of healthy children, it is easy to ignore and pretend that all children are just as lucky and healthy. I know this, I was one of those parents. I would change the channel if a story of sick children or children with cancer came on the news or a show like Children in Need.
The first day we found ourselves sitting in the children’s oncology daycare ward at QMC in Nottingham, all I could think was that we didn‘t belong there, I couldn‘t even look at the families, especially the children who had lost their hair or weight, the ones who looked poorly. Fifteen months after that day, my son had been through 11 hour brain surgery and had his whole right eye removed, he had lost his hair to chemotherapy, radiotherapy, lost weight, spent months in hospital with infections and side effects and then in December 2019 he died from the the adverse effects of seriously strong chemotherapy. We were one of those families that I had ignored, denied and avoided just a year earlier. We were now a family that other people no doubt wanted to ignore, dent and avoid.
Young Lives vs Cancer step up to the plate for families like ours. They provide practical, financial and emotional support. In fact, they support you in any possible way that they can. Young Lives vs Cancer helped us to understand Larsen‘s diagnosis and treatment by researching and reading the things you can‘t face. Our Young Lives vs Cancer social worker attended appointments with us, advocated for us, found the words and questions when I couldn‘t, held me up when I couldn’t stand up. Our Young Lives vs Cancer social worker brought us real coffee in hospital, took our toddler to the playroom to give him some attention, looked after him again when Larsen was rushed into emergency surgery and when there was no one else, sat with Larsen on the ward and read him stories so we could get fresh air. She applied and secured Disability Living Allowance for us, taking on the pressure of the hundreds of pages of admin that is that application - that we didn‘t have the time, energy or brainspace for but was money we really needed. Young Lives vs Cancer work with other local charities and were able to gift Larsen Lego and Easter and Christmas gifts, other grants and family days out, they helped us to find a charity for his wish.
I cannot think of a part of my life, our lives, that Young Lives vs Cancer didn’t support while Larsen battled his tumour. I cannot stress enough how families feel their friends and networks step back, like cancer is catching, after a diagnosis like this. But Young Lives vs Cancer step up. And families need them.
So, you can take a look at our donation pages below to donate and leave a message. To join our team, set up your own JustGiving page and click on Join the Team on JustGiving - we would love that the most!