EX-PATIENT Katie Birchall from St Helens was joined by Santa and Peppa Pig to officially open a new children’s playroom at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre, writes Louise Beach.
Ten-year-old Katie, who was successfully treated at the Centre for a brain tumour when she was just four years old, was thrilled to cut the ribbon on the new playroom after fundraising with her family to raise money to help build the facility.
Her family raised £5,000 and thanks to the generosity of The Clatterbridge League of Friends, who donated more than £50,000, the centre has built a playroom in the radiotherapy waiting area with plenty of indoor space and an outdoor soft play area.
Katie’s father, Andrew Birchall, said: “Over the last few years our family has been fundraising for a playroom at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. It’s so satisfying to see this lovely facility which will help the children to relax at what can be an anxious time.
“We know what it feels like for the child and the whole family when there’s a cancer diagnosis. Katie is a truly amazing daughter. We can’t thank the staff here enough; she simply would not be here if it wasn’t for their expertise. The care she received was simply brilliant.”
The new playroom is a creative, colourful and relaxing environment where children can have fun. Patients being treated at the centre will benefit from the new play area, as well as children who are visiting the centre with their parents or grandparents.
Ken Arnold, Chairman of The Clatterbridge Hospitals League of Friends, said: “We know that children can suffer anxiety and find a hospital visit very daunting.
“The League of Friends is delighted to be the primary funder of this dedicated waiting area for children in the radiotherapy department, which will provide distractions for them through play.”
The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity is the only charity directly raising money to benefit for these patients and their families.
Anyone wishing to support The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity can contact the charity team on 0151 482 7948.