Fundraiser for 'godsend' Rainbow Ward

Alfie Bills

 Published on 16 October 2019

Teeny tots helped raise a mountain of money for the children’s ward where one of their friends often receives treatment.

Youngsters from Whitstable’s Choochoos Day Nursery collected almost £1,000 for Rainbow Ward at the Queen Elizabeth The Queen Mother Hospital in Margate, by taking part in a fortnight of fun and fundraising.

The finish line was at a sports day attended by little Alfie Bills and his mum Jenny. Alfie, three, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in May and faces years of gruelling treatment. 

Jenny said: “It was lovely to be able to see all of Alfie’s friends and the nursery staff.

“We have to be so careful with where he goes because of the risk of infection but because it was outside he was able to run around and play just like everyone else.” 

Alfie was diagnosed with leukaemia after being admitted to Rainbow Ward following several infections. He was referred to the Royal Marsden Hospital for treatment and spent a month there before being discharged.

Now he has chemotherapy once a week at the Royal Marsden, but regularly travels to QEQM for blood transfusions or to treat suspected infections. 

Jenny said: “Both hospitals have been brilliant. The Rainbow Ward team are a godsend; we have 24/7 access and there is always a room free for us.

“We have been so lucky to receive such fantastic treatment. It has opened my eyes as to how great the NHS is. 

“So far the chemo is working so there is no need for a bone marrow transplant but he will have to have treatments until he is six, to make sure any dormant cancer cells are killed off.

“But at the moment he is well in himself. He has been amazing and just taken it all in his stride. He loves going to both hospitals, and always runs in to see who is working.”

Rainbow Ward is one of the wards supported by East Kent Hospitals Charity’s Child Health appeal. For more information or to get involved with fundraising, see https://www.ekhcharity.org.uk/about-us/child-health/