CHRISTMAS will be tough for everyone this year, but it’s especially hard for vulnerable and isolated families caring for children with incurable and life-limiting conditions, who don’t know how many Christmas’s they have left with their child.
UK charity, Together for Short Lives, with the support of Patrons Holly Willoughby and Peter Andre, and Ambassador Mason Mount, are urgently appealing for donations so the charity can support more families caring for a seriously ill child and make sure that no family suffers through their child’s short life alone, and can instead treasure precious time together.
Together for Short Lives’ Patron Simon Cowell has kicked the campaign off by making a fantastic personal donation to support the charity’s Christmas Together Appeal.
M&S Food is generously supporting the ‘Christmas Together Appeal’ by matching donations, for the first £50,000 raised, which means the charity can reach twice as many families.
Holly Willoughby, Peter Andre and Mason Mount have recorded special ‘Christmas Together Appeal’ messages, asking the public to give their support to save a family from a lifetime of suffering.
The films tell the story of Alfie and his family, and their devastating experience of hearing their son’s diagnosis and their struggle to get the right support. There are 99,000 children and young people with life-limiting conditions in the UK and the number has doubled in the last 20 years. Together for Short Lives wants to support the growing number of families caring for seriously ill children like Alfie, so they don’t suffer alone, and instead can treasure precious time together.
Alfie is six years old and has a life-limiting condition.
Alfie’s dad Kieron shares the harsh reality of hearing that Alfie had an incurable condition, he said:
“We were told this devastating news over the phone and were left to deal with the diagnosis alone. No family should go through what we went through.”
Last month, mid-fielder for Premier League Football club Chelsea and England team player, Mason Mount, made a surprise zoom visit to Alfie and his family, spending precious moments together.
“Alfie’s family and tens of thousands of others like him will be isolated and alone this Christmas and need your help. I was shocked when Kieron told me that he and his family had to wait a year for a diagnosis, they were left feeling devastated.”
Patron Peter Andre shares how the family were left to cope, he said:
“Reeling from the devastating diagnosis, Kieron and his family were given no help, support or guidance and were left completely on their own to come to terms with the knowledge that their child’s life would be limited.”
In her film, Together for Short Lives’ Patron Holly Willoughby appeals to the public to help families like Alfie’s this Christmas, she said:
“Kieron doesn’t know how many Christmas’ he’ll have left with his son Alfie. Alfie’s family has had to face more suffering in his lifetime, than any of us should have to bear. No family should have to suffer through their child’s short life alone. Together for Short Lives cannot save a child’s life. But with your support, we can save a family from a lifetime of suffering. By supporting our Christmas Together Appeal you can help families like Alfie’s to treasure every moment they have together. Text ALFIE 10 or the amount of your choice to 70450.”
Thankfully Kieron and his family are now getting the help they need. Kieron explained:
“I don’t think any family should go through the horrendous experience that we went through. Together for Short Lives has made a big difference to us as a family. We’ve got support from them and we are now in contact with other families going through a similar experience to us, and that really does make a massive difference – so you don’t feel alone in this.”
To make a donation to Together for Short Lives please visit: https://www.togetherforshortlives.org.uk/donate or text ALFIE 10 or the amount of your choice to 70450.
Texts cost £10 plus one standard rate message and you’ll be opting in to hear more about our work and fundraising via telephone and SMS. If you’d like to give £10 but do not wish to receive marketing communications, text ALFIENOINFO to 70450.