Ozzie Rogers Fund
Ozzie was a normal active 17 year old who loved rock music and playing his guitar, he was first diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia in October 2018 and sadly passed away in September 2020. Our family are so eternally grateful to Young Lives vs Cancer for their support and kindness in looking after us with their social care and for providing a "home from home" for us in Belfast - Paul's House & Amy's House and Sam's House in Bristol throughout this time.
When Ozzie was 1st diagnosed the hospital was around 50 mins to an hour away. We were so very grateful to have access to Paul House on the Fall Road in Belfast. It was a short walk through the hospital to its back door and then directly across the road a warm inviting house was our haven to rest, cook food for Ozzie and wash clothing and blankets he wanted from home. My husband and I lived in Paul's for over 3 months at the start whilst Ozzie underwent treatment. We spent Christmas day in Paul's House, with a local pub supplying my family with a beautiful Christmas dinner. Once Ozzie was well enough to go home we had to pack up our clothes etc which after those months from home we had nearly most of our clothes with us.
In March 2019 we headed to Bristol as Ozzie required a bone marrow transplant and again Young Lives v Cancer supported us, we stayed in Sam's House a short distance from the Children's Hospital. Sam's is where we met other families from the UK and made some great friends whilst spending 10 weeks in Bristol. Sam's was homely and so well equipped. We felt safe there in a big city. Ozzie's young brother even came over to stay with us in Bristol. It was no problem, as our room had 1 double bed and 2 single beds. It was so special for us to be all together and spend Easter as a family.
After Ozzie came home from Bristol just few days after his 16th birthday and within a couple of months, Ozzie fell unwell and yet again Paul's House came to the rescue. The staff welcomed us back, even though happy to see us, they really didn't want it to be the case of having to stay for the reason we did. Thankfully after a month of treatment we were homeward bound. Life was returning with less trips to the hospital. We were outpatients and the odd time would pop across to say hello to the team at Paul's House. Always a smile and how are you.
In March 2020, Ozzie relapsed and was becoming 17 years old that meaning he would be transferred to adult care, over at Belfast City Hospital. He was admitted in May and I had to move into Amy's House just a 5 minute walk from the hospital. Another beautifully converted town house so clean, modern, bright and again the familiar faces of Kate & Geraldine. This time it was different with parents staying as Covid was now in circulation. There were some restrictions within the house and had less interaction with other families which I missed, it meant a lot having space to talk away from the hospital, it really helps. As Ozzie deteriorated through his treatment, Simon decided to be close and move into Amy's House while I stayed at the hospital. We wanted to be close to Ozzie as he was fighting hard but we received devastating news in August that Ozzie was near end of life and receiving palliative care to manage his symptoms. On the 10th September our precious son so sadly and devastatingly passed away.
My family are so eternally grateful for Young Lives versus Cancer for their support and kindness in looking after us with their social care and providing a "home from home" in Belfast and Bristol.
Miranda, Simon and Luke 💜🖤