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Milton Keynes University Hospital NHS Foundation Trust RGB BLUE

Wear It Blue for Team Leo

WIB-Internet-pictureMilton Keynes Hospital Charity is excited to be gearing up for Wear It Blue day next week. The response from local schools and businesses to sign up to join Team Leo has been fantastic and Wear It Blue day looks set to be a roaring success.

Local schools, businesses, and hospital staff have been invited to wear something blue to school or work on Friday May 2 to show their support for the appeal, which is raising £200,000 for the children’s ward at the hospital. This could be something as simple as blue socks, or a blue tie, through to dressing head to toe in blue!

Participating schools will be entered into a prize draw to win books for their pupils, and hospital departments will be competing against each other to see who can raise the most money. There will be lots of activity and fundraising going on and mascot Leo the Lion will be making some appearances too.

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Val's Story

Val Hawthon - Lucys room 02 14 00 - CopyVal Hawthorne has been fundraising for the hospital ever since her daughter tragically died of ovarian cancer seven years ago – Lucy was only 14 at the time. We had the opportunity to talk to Val this month about her fundraising for a cause close to her heart.

"Having spent so much time on the ward with Lucy, I couldn't fault the care she received –the specialist doctors, nurses and ward staff were brilliant. But whilst Lucy was in there I noticed how the rooms were quite dull.

"After she died, I wanted to do something positive and started fundraising for a refurbishment of the two side rooms where we'd stayed, just to brighten and freshen up the surroundings.

"We raised more than £5,000 that year. It started when donations came in from family and friends in Lucy's memory. The local youth group at MK Theatre donated in Lucy's memory. Lucy was a keen dancer at Milton Keynes Dance Centre, where they also collected for us. They still support our efforts today.

"Things then escalated, as the school both Lucy and her brother Glen attended got involved too – Denbigh held a non-uniform day and the students and staff raised more than £1,000! It felt great handing the money over to the staff and then seeing the rooms looking so bright and cheerful. Now if you go on the ward, you'll notice a sign above the side room door – a star called Lucy's Rooms – which to me is a lovely way to remember her.

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Lucas' Story

Lucas OrmrodHere's the story of Lucas from Milton Keynes - one of the children who could benefit from your support of Leo's Appeal, raising funds for our children's wards.

15-month old Lucas has Kabuki syndrome, a disorder that affects many parts of the body with complications such as heart and kidney problems. We spoke to his mum Emma about his condition and her experiences at the hospital.

"I was seven months pregnant when I was told that Lucas had a 50/50 chance of developing Kabuki syndrome. Lucas's older brother Alfie has the syndrome too so I was shocked when it was diagnosed at birth–for both boys to have it is very rare. It's actually the first reported case of Kabuki syndrome being passed on genetically from mother to baby in the world." [Emma was told she had the gene during Lucas' diagnosis].

"I've worked out that since November 2012 we haven't spent more than a month out of hospital. Lucas was first admitted to the children's ward when he was five weeks old. He'd been having trouble feeding but then wouldn't stop projectile vomiting, which was deeply distressing. I was so scared that something was really wrong, but the doctors and nurses were great. We ended up on the ward for two weeks – until his feeding was under control – and then Lucas went home with a feeding tube. We found out feeding problems are a common feature of infants with Kabuki syndrome.

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Leo's Appeal is Charity of the Year for MK News

leo---mk-news2014 was off to a great start as Leo's Appeal, fundraising for our children's wards, was voted the MK News charity of the year!

Receiving more than 1000 votes from members of the public, this partnership will make a huge difference to the appeal and local children and families in Milton Keynes. Through Leo's appeal - named after our mascot Leo the Lion - we're making our wards even more child and family-friendly; funding a redevelopment of the isolation suites where very sick children may have to go; enhancing facilities for parents and funding play equipment and toys for all children, including those with complex needs.

We'd like to thank everyone who nominated us and look forward to working with MK News over the coming year.

If you are a local company or business who would like to partner with a local charity, then please get in touch as we'd love to hear from you! We can work together on fundraising, volunteering opportunities and much more! For more information please contact vanessa.holmes@mkhospital.nhs.uk or 01908 826690.

Nurse raises £2000 for Leo's Appeal

ursulaHuge thanks to our Paediatric Nurse Ursula Ghaleb who along with her friends Sarah, Alison and Chris, ran the Berlin Marathon for Leo's Appeal.

Ursula and her friends beat their £1500 target and raised an amazing £2000 for the appeal! Ursula is delighted with the result. She said: "We are so happy and thankful for everybody who supported us with good wishes, encouragement and donations. It was a fantastic experience, the streets were filled with people throughout the 26 miles, cheering the runners on.

"Throughout my training and especially during the Marathon itself my thoughts were with the children's ward and all the children who have been treated by us. How wonderful will it be when improvements to the children's ward will give local children and families an even more comfortable and child-friendly environment."

If people would like to get involved and support Leo's Appeal in any way, they can contact the fundraising team via emailing fundraising@mkhospital.nhs.uk or calling 01908 826699.

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