Family raises thousands in memory of brave Alfie

03 November 2016

Jennifer Grimshaw and Joanne Small from Bolton have raised over £20,000 for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, in loving memory of Jennifer’s son, Alfie.

Alfie was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, a rare type of cancer that mostly affects babies and young children, at just 6 weeks old. He was admitted to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital where he spent the first year of his life in and out of the hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit (PICU). During his time at the hospital, brave Alfie had over 18 operations and many rounds of chemotherapy treatment.

On Alfie’s first birthday his family were overjoyed when he was given the all clear, but sadly when Alfie was only 2 and a half years old he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia. On the 9th September 2010, just days after his diagnosis, Alfie sadly passed away.

Inspired by the incredible care Alfie received, Jennifer and Alfie’s father Samuel Lord set up Alfie’s Tribute Fund in 2011 to say thank you to the Children’s Hospital. Since then their whole community have railed round to help support the fundraising in Alfie’s memory; from barbers and nurseries, to local businesses and brownie groups. A whole range of fundraising activities have taken place to raise the funds, from walks to cake sales and Jennifer even took part in an superhero abseil!

Jennifer comments:

“The Paediatric Intensive Care Unit were outstanding throughout Alfie’s short life. I will forever be grateful to the doctors and nurses for everything they did for Alfie, my family and I. We set up Alfie’s Tribute Fund as a way to try and say thank you to the hospital for the brilliant care and support we received.

“The hospital really means so much to me, so I’m thrilled that we’ve managed to raise so much money. Knowing it will help other seriously ill children like Alfie is such a lovely feeling. I’m proud that something so positive is being done in Alfie’s memory and I’d like to thank everyone who has helped fundraise as without them, this wouldn’t have been possible.”

Money from Alfie’s Tribute Fund has supported equipment and toys for the hospital’s Paediatric Intensive Care Unit. The money also helps fund a special family fun day for families on PICU. The family fun day is an opportunity for families and PICU staff to share experiences and for children to enjoy some well-deserved fun with entertainers and bouncy castles.

Angela Rowe, Community Fundraising Manager at Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity said: “Jennifer and her mum Joanne are truly inspirational supporters who have tirelessly fundraised for us for many years. It’s clear to see from all the support they receive that little Alfie meant so much to so many people.

“Setting up a Tribute Fund in memory of a loved one is a special way to remember their life, as well as helping to make a real difference to the thousands of poorly young children that are cared for at our Children’s Hospital. We can’t thank Jennifer and Joanne enough for her incredible donation and continued support.”

Jennifer would like to say a special thanks to the HSBC Bank in Bury who have continuously supported her over the years. As well as regular cake sales and helping out with collections at local Tescos, they also organised a Gala Ball to raise money in Alfie’s memory.