It is becoming an annual event, The Bowler and Hancox Families wrap up the presents and Peter, Henry and Christian pop over to St George's as Santa and his two helpers. Today was very special with some really lovely children who seemed very happy with the visit. We hope they all get back to the comfort of their homes soon.
The photos are all here, we have made it so the photos are all downloadable in hi-res for the parents of the children that Santa saw.
28th October 2012
I was very kindly given this bottle of Champagne by a friend before Christian was first diagnosed with cancer. When Christian got ill, the bottle sat in the cellar as we waited for something to celebrate.
We decided that when he reached 5 years in remission, which is when you're given the all clear, we would open it and enjoy it. That plan was obviously delayed when the cancer relapsed and I must admit that I wondered if the Champagne would ever get drunk.
A couple of years ago, our house was broken into and the burglars went off with most of my photographic equipment, some of Claudia's jewelry and a few of bottles of wine, including this one.
If I was a superstitious person I may have suspected the bottle was unlucky, but I would have been quite wrong.
It was listed in the police report along with everything else that was taken. A couple of weeks later one of the police officers who had read the report was searching a suspect's flat in South East London on a completely different enquiry. When he open the fridge he noticed a bottle of 1990 Bollinger and quickly worked out it probably wasn't theirs. The suspect's finger prints matched ones taken from our property and the guys were charged and proven guilty a few months later.
Unfortunately most of our goods were never returned but this bottle of champagne came back to us.
This September, Christian reached his 5 years in remission, something he had a one in 20 chance of achieving and we finally popped open the bottle.
I must say, it was delicious.
Thank you very much to the (slightly crazy) Val Brand who jumped out of a plane for the Christian Blandford Fund. She raised over £750 which is an amazing achievement.
Here she is...
Thank you to Ava and Ellis McNally who made some lovely bracelets to sell at school and raised nearly £100 for the Christian Blandford fund. They were great bracelets and you are lovely girls!
30th June 2012
Darren Bowler, one of our trustees was once known as "the fat controller". Amazingly, he is doing an incredible iron man event in Switzerland in a couple of weeks. It involves a 3.8k swim (in the lake with 2500 others) , 180km cycle (through the Alps) and finally he has to run a full marathon. He is doing this quite ridiculous event which sounds to me like 12 hours of utter pain all to Aid the Christian Blandford Fund. Find out more details here...
27th April 2012
The Christian Blandford Fund made a significant contribution toward this amazing new garden at St George's. It is a wonderful private space for children to get away from the wards. Mark Owen was very kind to come and open it. He was fantastic, signing loads of autographs, posing for photos, visiting the wards, and presenting the hospital with a £20,000 from The Take That Foundation. The photos are here.
It's been a while since we've had a video of Christian's dancing, this is something he put together all on his own, even the editing...
26th December 2011
Just before Christmas, Christian, Peter and Henry went to St George's again to be Santa and elves and hand out presents to children unfortunate enough to be in hospital during the festive period.
The Bowler family and the Hancox family did a great job of wrapping all the present and delivering them so they were ready for Santa to hand them out. This year we bought more than ever so plenty were left over for arrivals on or just after Christmas. Neil Berrecloth popped in to help and the play specialists, very efficient in sorting out the right presents for each child.
I just wanted to say "thank-you" on behalf of my son Alex, who received a lovely teddy. It really cheered him up, as did the visit from father Xmas and his little helper: his eyes lit up when he saw them (I think he was thinking "oh no, the door's opening, someone in a uniform is coming to do something nasty to me") and was lovely for his dad and mum to see. As you can appreciate, being in an isolation room at Xmas is pretty grim for a kid. Alex has been poorly all his life and is a "regular" at St George's, despite living 60 miles away in West Sussex. The distance makes it particularly difficult as his brother William, who he is very close to, has to stay at his Grandma's during his many stays at St George's, so we are all split up as a family. Luckily, we were put on "home leave" for Xmas but must return next Friday.
I think your charity is brilliant. As soon as I read the poster in the posh new parents room I could tell that the person who wrote it had a real insight into life for kids and their families in this situation that only personal experience (unfortunately) can bring.
Merry Xmas to you all and keep up the good work!
16th December 2011
Christian had his 6 monthly checkup today. All good with nothing to worry about. Apparently now that he has been clear for four and a half years, the chance of a relapse is "tiny".
14th December 2011
We have ordered all the toys for Santa to deliver to the children's wards at St George's on the 23rd December. Ho ho ho!
12th December 2011
We have bought 20 cot mobiles for the Hedgehog Ward at Tunbridge Wells Hospital which Claudia is delivering next week.
10th December 2011
Christian and his class put on a lovely nativity play this year. The photos are here. If any parent wants a higher res copy of the photos please contact Peter.
3rd December 2011
Thank you to the lovely Leila Hacket at the wonderful Coco Cuscino for their continued support. They have just had an event to launch their amazing Christmas collection and gave a share of the proceeds to the Christian Blandford Fund.
1st December 2011
The Pinckney ward at St George's now has a new Christmas tree and decorations thanks to The Christian Blandford Fund. Thank you to Darren Bowler and Marianne Sylvester for sorting it out.
23rd November 2011
Thank you to Sam Palmer and the Sevenoaks ladies joggers for donating £180 to the Christian Blandford Fund after they all ran the Brighton 10k and had a celebratory curry with Claudia. With gift aid, their donation is worth over £250.
20th November 2011
Congratulations to Claudia for raising over £2000 for the Christian Blandford fund and running the Brighton 10k in 1hr and 1 minute!
21st September 2011
Claudia's 10km run
Christian's mum, Claudia has decided to run 10km to raise money for the Christian Blandford Fund, she writes...
Hi, thanks for visiting my page. For those of you who know me, I am not a runner. I may attempt to jog a little bit but I am rubbish - I don't "do" speed, I constantly need to pee, and I always sprain my ankle. Not the right ingredients really to attempt a 10k! However, I am raising money for The Christian Blandford Fund. Christian is my son and he has been through cancer twice. As a family we have spent a huge amount of time in hospitals where we could see that they were crying out for basic things such as sofa beds for parents, curtains, high chairs, toys, electronic games etc. We managed to raise enough money to buy these things, and much more, but we need to continue to raise funds - sofa beds break, curtains rip, toys don't last forever. Please help me to be able to continue to help the lives of sick children and their families in hospitals.
Through Virgin Money Giving, you can sponsor me and donations will be quickly processed and passed to charities. Virgin Money Giving is a not for profit organisation and will claim gift aid on a charity's behalf where the donor is eligible for this. I really appreciate all your support and thank you for any donations.
The aim of the Christian Blandford fund is to improve the comfort of children and their families, particularly those affected by cancer, during prolonged stays in local NHS hospitals. More here.
Christian Blandford has been through cancer twice. He was diagnosed with a clear cell sarcoma of the kidney, a rare and aggressive form of childhood cancer, in January 2005 when he was just 18 months old. After a grueling year of treatment, he was given the all clear but unfortunately relapsed in November 2006 when the cancer spread to a bone in his leg.
His second round of surgery, chemo and radiotherapy in 2007 was even more intensive and demanding than the first, but thankfully Christian is now in remission. He’s a happy seven year old who enjoys painting, dancing to Michael Jackson and playing with his puppy, Twiggy.
To get you in the mood for bidding for Take That tickets, here is a panorama of yesterday's Wembley concert that you can zoom in and out of.
1st July 2011 - More take that tickets!!!!! - this is from Fiona, one of the blondes on bikes
Hi all – we have 2 more Take That tickets to sell to raise money for our bike ride.
TEXT ONLY your bid to Caroline Chalkley on 07788 598718 Opening/Reserve bid is £500 for both or £250 each
Bidding Closing 5pm Sunday 3rd July
2 x VIP - TAKE THAT TICKETS
WEMBLEY 6TH JULY
BLOCK 252 ROW 1
All proceeds to go to www.christianblandford.com Fund
26th June 2011
The Take That tickets raised an amazing £1300. Even better, Mark Owen and his lovely wife, Emma, donated a second set of tickets for the people who came second in the auction and offered £1350 for another set. This brings the total raised by the blondes on bikes to over an incredible £7000. Thank you so much!
Mark Owen from Take That has a son who goes to Finton House School with the children of the blondes on bikes. He very kindly offered to auction some VIP tickets to the latest TAKE THAT tour to benefit The Christian Blandford Fund. How cool is that?
8th June 2011
Four mum's from Clapham are taking part in an amazing cycle ride to Paris. These are their words not mine...
Who would have thought any good could ever come from a mid-life crisis?? Turning 40 years can make people do the strangest of things – we have bought a lot of lycra and decided to cycle from London to Paris – for one weekend only “Blondes on Bikes” go on tour!
The “Blondes on Bikes” team is a small collection of 40ish year old mums with a total of 10 children between us. We all live Wandsworth, so our local hospital is St Georges. It is no surprise that St Georges provides a full range of General Paediatric Medicine inpatient and outpatient services. There are five children’s wards including eight Paediatric Intensive Care Unit beds for critically ill children. The BoB team feels lucky that it has not had to use any of these services, but being in the heart of “nappy valley” there are plenty of families that have and the wonderful resources available are stretched to their limit.
Their page is here. All of us at the Christian Blandford Fund would like to thank these ladies for the great effort it is really appreciated!
16th May 2011
We are in the process of ordering 8 shiny new laptops for the Pinkney ward at St George's. They will be available for use by children and their parents. This will allow the kids to play games online, watch DVDs, use social networking sites and do homework. They will also be equipped with Microsoft Office so parents can catch up on work while they are on the ward.
We would like to thank the lovely people at Seareach UK, for offering to provide security labels for free. We contacted them for a quote and they offered us 100 labels free of charge. Thank you very much guys!
14th April 2011
Christian was in Mauritius last week and took part in a fashion show to launch Jean Paul Gaultier's latest collection! Lots of other children who stayed at The Residence also took part.
I have put the photos here and also on photobox here where you can order prints (password christianblandfordfund).
Please share this site on facebook and other social networking sites.
Christian has been very keen to have some input into the site and has written the following...
Thank you for coming to my website. The Christian blandford fund needs LOTS of money to make the children with cancer more happier. We need even more money for the St Georges hospital. If you like making children feel better then you definitely need to raise some money!
Well there you go! ;)
The New Logo!!!
You have probably noticed that we now have a fantastic new logo. It was designed by Simon Brown of Shiny Brown Design. Simon gave up his time and expertise and refused payment for his services for which we are very grateful!
The other exciting item of news for the fund is that we are now a registered charity with the registered charity number 1139614. You can see it's listing on the Charity Commission website.
Christian's Nanny, June Arthur, performed a demonstration of preparing Spanish tapas to the ladies of the NWR in Wimborne, the ladies generously donated £67 to the Christian Blandford Fund.
30th December 2010
Peter put on a Father Christmas outfit and went to St George's to hand out presents with his two little helpers Henry and Christian.
There are more photos here. Some parents wanted copies of the photos, they can be ordered directly from photobox. If you have not used them before send me an e-mail at email@example.com and I'll send you an offer code for 50 free prints. A big thank you to Hugh Miller, the very talented photographer who took the photos for us and donated his time and expertise.
It was a lot of fun, made easy by the very organised play specialists at St George's. Thank you also to Darren, Corrine, Emily and Amy for collecting wrapping and delivering the presents to the Hospital, they truly did all the hard work!
The presents were all paid for from The Christian Blandford Fund and we are very grateful to the enormous support that we receive from the friends that support us.
It was great to see Maz, one of the very skillful nurses at St George's using the portable ultra sound machine that we supplied. At over £20,000 it is not in the NHS budget but makes inserting needles into children's veins a much less traumatic and painful experience. Something we felt strongly was worth our investment!
So we can continue this kind of work, please consider us if you are raising money for a charity event or are about to make a festive charity donation. Thank and Merry christmas and a Happy and Healthy New Year!
Darren Bowler and Amy Hancox are trustees of the Christian Blandford fund and joined me on a visit to St George's to discuss future projects and look at some of the recent purchases and projects we have been involved with. Here are some of the pictures.
The newspaper had a lovely photo of Christian in it too. Here is the PDF of it.
Christian enjoys going to stagecoach where he practices dancing, singing and acting. When they found out about his illness, Wendy and Keith who run the Tonbridge school asked if they could put him forward for a national Stagecoach Award. If you are interested here is the letter that Keith wrote.
Christian, Claudia, Peter and Christian's nanny (Pete's mum, June) went to the Houses of Parliament where Christian was named the winner of the Bravery prize. Needless to say we were over the moon!
Christian had to go to Great Ormond Street in London today to see a kidney specialist. As he only has one kidney they need to keep a close eye on his kidney function to make sure everything is OK. As Claudia is 8 months pregnant, Peter and Christian had a day trip to London on the train.
The good news is that his remaining kidney is working perfectly and has grown to meet demand. He had urine test, blood tests and a scan and everything was perfect. The only problem was that he was laughing uncontrollably when the doctor was prodding his tummy.
15 August 2010
We are very just applying for registered charity status for The Charities Commission so fingers crossed...
In the meantime we decided to have a bit of fun on wet Saturday afternoon to promote this site...
Amy Hancox, a trustee with the Christian Blandford Fund, persuaded the Head Master of Finton House School to nominate us as the beneficiary of their Summer fete. They raised a fantastic £2,600.
Peter Radford (Radford NOT Blandford, I am getting undue credit for this!) has entered the grueling Etape du Tour bike ride and will raise money for two charities, Chase Hospice Care and The Christian Blandford Fund.
Pete is trying to raise £8,604 which is somehow relevant to the event. If you sponsor him you can guess what the link is and win a mystery prize!
He writes, "It is 112 miles and 3 mountain climbs in the Pyrenees. Given that I weigh twice as much as a pro-rider and prefer a G&T to protein shakes, this is a major challenge for me. Last year over 20% of the riders taking part did not finish - this must not be confused with a bike ride you can just turn up and get through on the day. We will be riding for around 10 hours on the day in 30 degrees heat. I am doing this ride with my mate Rob Lucas and we have been training since January, lost some weight and put a lot of miles on the bike. We are funding the ride ourselves with all the money from this site going straight to two charities."
Peter's sponsorship page is here
The New Beacon School raised £437.61 by nominating the Christian Blandford Site as a recipient of the collection at the recent chapel service.
Christian's latest check up went well again, he will now be having 6 monthly check ups.
Christian has always loved dancing, even when he was unwell and tiny he was a funky mover...