10 February 2014
Every child in the UK diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour is being offered a gift to give them a moment of distraction from their treatment thanks to a new scheme from Macmillan Cancer Support and the Tom Grahame Trust.
The initiative, ‘Tom’s Gift’, sends a child a special package which consists of a £30 Debenhams gift voucher, to be spent on any toy or game and a small mystery gift.
Each year, approximately 400 children in Britain aged 0-14 are diagnosed with a brain tumour1. We know that caring for a child with a malignant brain tumour can be extremely demanding on families emotionally, financially and on a practical level. Tom’s Gift is an opportunity to give all children with a malignant brain tumour under the age of 16 joy and distraction from any difficulties they experience.
Corisande Albert and Angus Grahame set up the Tom Grahame Trust, in 2010 after their son, Tom, died from a malignant brain tumour at the age of five. Corisande says:
'Our son went through months of treatment, including surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy, and spent many long hours in hospital waiting rooms and children’s wards.
'One of the few things that made Tom smile back then was a present. Tom’s face used to light up and for the next few hours he could forget everything else and just enjoy his gift. We understand first-hand what children with a brain tumour and their families go through and we want every child undergoing treatment for a brain tumour to have something to enjoy.'
Neal Southwick, Financial Support Programme Lead at Macmillan says:
'Working with the Tom Grahame Trust on developing this new initiative has been extremely inspiring. I am really excited about the difference it will make to the children who receive Tom's gift.
'Tom’s Gift aims to celebrate the bravery and resilience of all children who have to undergo treatment for a malignant brain tumour and hopefully bring a smile to these children’s faces.
'It acknowledges the importance of emotional support and that the smallest things can make a massive difference to a child’s experience of care whilst going though treatment for cancer.'
Macmillan Cancer Support are asking health and social care professionals to tell families of children diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour requiring treatment that they can apply for Tom’s Gift by visiting the Macmillan Cancer Support website here.
If you’re caring for someone with cancer and need information or support, call 0808 808 00 00 or visit www.macmillan.org.uk/carers
For further information, please contact:
Charlotte Morris, Media and PR Officer, Macmillan Cancer Support
0207 091 2467 (out of hours 07801 307068)
Notes to Editors:
1Cancer Research UK. Childhood cancer incidence statistics.
(Accessed January 2014)
About the Tom Grahame Trust
The Tom Grahame Trust was set up by Corisande Albert and Angus Grahame to celebrate the six years of life of their darling boy, Tom, who died of a malignant brain tumour in December 2010.
The charity is currently funding three projects – the creating and maintenance of Tom’s Pirate Playground in the village of Clyro, Powys, where Tom was a schoolboy; a three year research project run by Professor Steve Clifford at Newcastle University which we hope will lead directly to improved treatment for children in Tom’s situation; and Tom’s Gift in partnership with Macmillan Cancer Support to provide a gift to every child in Britain diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour.
For more information on The Tom Grahame Trust visit www.tomgrahame.com
If you or your child are under 16 and have been recently diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour then click here to find out more and download an application form. It’s quick and easy to do. If you have any questions please contact the Macmillan Grants team on 020 7840 7874.
About Macmillan Cancer Support
When you have cancer, you don’t just worry about what will happen to your body, you worry about what will happen to your life. At Macmillan, we know how a cancer diagnosis can affect everything and we’re here to support you through.
From help with money worries and advice about work, to someone who’ll listen if you just want to talk, we’ll be there. We are millions of supporters, professionals, volunteers, campaigners and people affected by cancer. Together we make sure there’s always someone here for you, to give you the support, energy and inspiration you need to help you feel like yourself again. We are all Macmillan.
No one should face cancer alone. Call us free on 0808 808 00 00 (Monday to Friday, 9am–8pm) or visit macmillan.org.uk