Olivia’s Spreading joy through art and letters

Olivia's Spreading joy through art and lettersWe have just heard about a lovely fundraising activity that one of our young supporters Olivia Barrows is doing. Her thoughtfulness is way beyond her years. Olivia is writing letters and creating artwork to send to cancer patients who may not be allowed visitors at this challenging time of increased risk. She just wants to make them feel less lonely and at the same time is asking for donations from the public for the Sussex Cancer Fund.

Olivia’s story

Olivia’s Grandad (Bryan Leitch) was diagnosed with Mantle Cell Lymphoma when Olivia was 2 years old. At the time of his bone marrow transplant at the Royal Marsden, he was given a slim chance of getting through. Olivia’s mum, Emma, asked him to write letters to Olivia so that she could benefit from his wisdom and thoughts. However, thanks to the research and treatment from the doctors and researchers supported by the Sussex Cancer Fund, he could tell her himself. He went on to live for another 10 years (the longest survivor of this type of cancer). Sadly he passed away on 23rd April 2019.

Emma said “They had such a close bond as did Dad and I. I can’t express how thankful we are and particularly for the support in Dad’s last few weeks in Brighton Hospital. Olivia is now 12 years old and felt that she wanted to do something to say thank you and help people like her Grandad. We are both so grateful that we were able to spend time with him in his last weeks and he didn’t die alone. We are very aware that people are not in that situation at this time. It must be so, so difficult. “

This is what Olivia’s JustGiving Page says

Hi, I’m Olivia and I’m writing letters to cancer patients and creating art to send to them. I’m hoping this will reduce the feeling of loneliness due to people not being able to see their families because of high-risk conditions. Also, by creating art it can brighten up how they feel. In doing this, I am also raising money for Sussex Cancer Fund because they helped my family and my Grandad when he was going through cancer so I wanted to do something back especially at a time when many charities won’t get as much funding because there’s not much opportunity.

Lucy Armstead – Haematology Unit Manager & some of Olivia’s artwork ready to present to patients.

If you would like to support Olivia and the fantastic work she is doing please visit her JustGiving Page.

Thank you Olivia and Emma for your continued support.