World Kidney Day is upon us, with this year’s theme highlighting the issues of kidney disease in adults but here in Nottingham we are also grateful for the amazing work of Nottingham Children’s Hospital in supporting young children with kidney issues. Kidney disease and related illnesses can affect children in many ways varying from treatable disorders to life threatening conditions. With our Big Appeal for Nottingham Children’s Hospital in full swing, the major fundraising appeal hopes to raise £3 million to benefit young patients at the Nottingham Children’s Hospital.
Rachel Newton’s one-year-old daughter Charlotte has had kidney problems since birth and has spent periods of up to nine weeks at Nottingham Children’s Hospital, which has a big impact on family life for Rachel, her husband John and their other daughter Emily (4). Now Charlotte is on life-saving haemodialysis which involves three trips a week.
Nottingham Hospitals Charity has launched its Big Appeal to raise £3 million for the Children’s’ Hospital over the next three years, focusing on life-saving research into childhood illnesses and leading edge diagnostic equipment.
Rachel says: “We have been in and out of hospital since Charlotte was born and each time we can’t guarantee how long we will need to be here. Nottingham is the nearest facility to where we live. I don’t mind the travel, but it is very expensive.
“Having somewhere to stay close to the hospital where we could cook our own meals would make an enormous difference. We’d get to spend more time together as a family and it would be more comfortable and less expensive.”
While Rachel and John are at the hospital with Charlotte they rely on a network of other relatives to look after their other daughter. Rachel gave up work as an optical assistant at Specsavers to become Charlotte’s full time carer.
Barbara Cathcart, Nottingham Hospitals Charity Chief Executive says: “This Appeal will enable us to make a big difference to children like Charlotte and their families, many of whom travel from far afield to bring their children to the hospital. Families sometimes have to book into costly hotel rooms or sleep on a chair at their child’s bedside which adds to their exhaustion and stress.
“We aim to provide the best possible care for our young patients with up to the minute equipment in a child-friendly environment.”
The Big Appeal will help to support children like Rachel and her family, to make their quality of living better but also fund new equipment to help children with kidney problems.
Those wishing to support the Big Appeal can hold their own fundraising event, or go to the Nottingham Hospital Charity’s donation page at http://nottinghamhospitalscharity.org.uk/donate/ or call the Charity team on 0115 962 7905 to make a donation or to volunteer.