Alec’s Smile Fund – Spring/Summer Update 2012


Posted on : 01-11-2012 | By : admin | In : Uncategorized

It has been a pleasure to be able to make use of Alec’s Smile Fund for our children and their families this year, and we are very grateful for the creative ways it has allowed us to support those in need of a smile whilst enduring the trials of gruelling cancer treatment.

In April it was extremely exciting to see a group of our teenagers aged 12-14 years head off for a weeks skiing in France with other young people from around the south east.  Through Alec’s Smile Fund we were able to contribute some money to each teenager towards the costs of their travel insurance and individual goggles and gloves., whilst another charity organised board, lodgings and tuition.  The week was a massive success and a chance for our youngsters to regain some independence and confidence in the wake of their diagnosis and treatment.  In fact one young lady who had not been able to talk about her treatment or her future came home from the trip and the following day completed a piece of homework in which she was able to describe her cancer journey and look forward positively to the future.  What price can you possibly put on enabling a child to believe in their future again?

Alec’s Angels also came to the rescue both financially and in person to help one of our young adults facing terminal cancer, marry her partner.  Not only did Alecs’ dad Brian chauffeur the groom and best man to the church and deliver  the bridesmaids safely back to the reception after the service, but Alec’s Angel’s also ensured the bride and groom had a wedding cake on their special day.  The wedding was described by the bride as ‘the best day of my life’ and the pictures now adorning their walls simply say it all.

The fund has ensured that we have been able to provide family days out for those whose children have been too poorly to enjoy a holiday this year.  And for those children on the ward, we were able to host a lovely Jubilee party on Kamran’s Ward that involved cake decorating, non alcoholic jubilee cocktails and a sing song of the National Anthem!

Special thanks must go to the supporters of Alec’s Angels and The Smile Fund for the gift of a specialist Apple Ipad for the children on Robin’s ward at The Children’s Hospital, Oxford.

Alec himself benefitted from, and enjoyed, this kind of technology as he recovered in from his surgery and treatment and so it seems a fitting tribute that other children facing similar challenges to him are able to benefit for such an important communication and entertainment tool after invasive neurosurgery.

Finally, whilst the fund was always designed to bring a smile to the face of children, at the most challenging times this is sometimes done by relieving huge financial burdens on parents.  Three families in particular, who by pure coincidence all have children with brain tumours, have benefitted from the Fund in recent months to address significant hardship because of a change in their child’s condition.  For each of these cases, income had reduced as parents spent precious time with their children and in doing so lost out on paid income.  To be able to offer this without delay and to see the relief on parent’s faces is something we are incredibly grateful for and something that we know we are very lucky to have.

And so once again, thank you Alec, for having a heart and soul big enough to see the needs of others, and to those who loved and cared for him enough to  make his desire a reality.

Gemma Downes
CLIC Sargent Social Worker, Oxford