Abby’s Heroes exists because when a child is diagnosed with cancer, it has massive financial repercussions on the parents as often one or both parents need to give up work or take unpaid leave to care for their sick child. A report advised that on average families spend an additional £600 per month when their child is diagnosed with cancer - CANC£R COSTS: CLIC Sargent 2016. To assist with this, Abby’s Heroes supports families when their child is on treatment by awarding financial hardship grants to help relieve the poverty parents find themselves facing as a result of their child’s diagnosis. These grants can be for a host of reasons such as rent or mortgage payments, household bills and other everyday living costs while the child is in hospital, additional travel costs to hospital or sadly help towards funeral costs.
Our charity supports children receiving cancer treatment, and their families, at Piam Brown Ward or the Teenage and Young Adult Unit at University Hospital Southampton, the Regional Centre for Paediatric Oncology and Haematology from the Wessex Region (which includes Hampshire and the Isle of Wight, Dorset, Wiltshire, Surrey, West Sussex and the Channel Islands). All children living in these areas will receive some or all of their treatment at Southampton depending on the type of cancer and their treatment regime together with their shared care hospital such as Royal Hampshire County Hospital in Winchester. Children may be in hospital for many weeks, if not months, receiving treatment.
Abby’s Heroes was set up in the memory of Abby Randall. Abby was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare type of bone cancer, in 2013 aged 8 years and 10 months. During her fight, Abby had 23 rounds of chemotherapy, 50 days of radiotherapy, stem cell harvesting, scans, cannulas, drains, intensive care stays and pioneering surgery, to remove the tumour from her clavicle and replace the missing bone with her second toe and main metatarsal from her right foot. In May 2014, Abby was officially declared in remission and spent 6 carefree months getting back to school and back to her beloved dancing. The day after Christmas, 2014, Abby’s cancer returned. Despite a truly awe-inspiring fight she lost her battle on 29th May 2016.