Next Tuesday is Giving Tuesday - a global movement that encourages people to do something positive for causes they support.
Both CLIC Sargent and our corporate partner Morrisons are Giving Tuesday partners, and across the supermarket colleagues and customers will be helping raise money for more children, young people and their families facing cancer.
For the Devizes store, where the two-year-old grandson of an employee is currently undergoing treatment for leukaemia, giving back to CLIC Sargent is high priority.
“I have always been committed to fundraising for CLIC Sargent” said the Devizes store Community Champion, Michelle Hawkings, “but since Rory’s diagnosis the store has had the push needed to really go for it”.
In June this year, Rory Holloran, then just two months shy of his second birthday, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. His family, including his grandma, Morrisons colleague Carol Lee, were left devastated as the tot was rushed to John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford to start a gruelling chemotherapy regime.
Rory’s mum, Hannah, said: “The feeling upon hearing Rory had leukaemia was just unlike anything else. My stomach just dropped. That’s the only thing I can remember. I just felt numb. I had just been looking at my baby boy, and suddenly I was looking at my baby boy with cancer. I thought “why him?’
“Rory was perky when we arrived on the ward. He had had a blood transfusion, so he was full of beans. I took him into the play room, and I saw a little boy in there who was really pale with no hair and he had a huge scar right across his head. I just burst into tears. It was as if at that moment I realised this was what we were in for.”
Home from Home
Rory stayed in hospital, a two hour drive from the family home, for three weeks before being sent home. But bouts of fever meant he was repeatedly readmitted, and Hannah and Rory’s dad, Matt, faced weeks away from each other.
That is when CLIC Sargent stepped in. The gave the family a £170 grant – paid for through Morrisons fundraising – and gave Matt a room to stay in at CLIC House, our Home from Home just a stones throw from the hospital
“We met a CLIC Sargent social worker called Sheila, and she was amazing” added Hannah. “She helped get Matt in CLIC House which was a huge help because I missed him as well. We were at the stage where we thought we were going to lose our baby boy – we needed each other as much as Rory needed us.
“Occasionally the nurses let Rory leave hospital for a few hours and we would just sit on the sofa in CLIC House in front the TV, doing normal stuff. We felt extremely lucky to be able to do that.”
Rory faces months of chemotherapy to fight the cancer before he can start the maintenance phase of treatment. But that hasn’t stopped him being centre-stage in the Devizes store’s fundraising efforts.
Carol Lee, Rory’s doting grandma who works nights at Morrisons in Devizes, said: “I have been with Morrisons since 1999, and I have seen us support many charities. But when Rory was diagnosed, our whole world changed. The support CLIC Sargent have given to Hannah has been unbelievable. Now we just want to give something back to say thank you got everything that they have done for us.”
Michelle, Community Champion, added:
“There are lots of charities out there and every one is worthwhile. But I do think CLIC Sargent is particularly special. They don’t just support the children and young people, they support the whole family."
Rory is a very special little boy, but he is also a very poorly little boy, and his family are going through a lot of turmoil. What CLIC Sargent are doing for his family is providing a life line, and helping them cope. That is why we are proud to support them on Giving Tuesday, and every day.”
In the UK, Giving Tuesday is run by Charities Aid Foundation (CAF). Ben Russell, Director of Communications at the Charities Aid Foundation, said:
“It is fantastic that Morrisons and CLIC Sargent are joining thousands of businesses and charities in Britain and around the world urging people to do a good deed for #givingtuesday.
“Britain is one of the most generous countries on earth and whether it is simply giving a bunch of flowers or donating some money or a few hours to a cause you care about, #givingtuesday is a brilliant chance to give something back as the Christmas build-up starts getting into full swing.”