• Joe Sims

A thought at Christmas...

A Very Happy Christmas Day to you all!! Many of us will be gathering with family or friends at home today, eating too much food, wearing terrible jumpers and fighting over the Quality Streets.  But we also know that Christmas can be a difficult or lonely time for some. We send out huge 500 Reasons hugs to anyone feeling less than festive this year. We love you all - you are all very special people.  For Christmas Day we wanted a special nomination and we have the lovely Beky Stoddart to thank for letting us know about a family who won’t get to be at home celebrating this year because they are spending Christmas in hospital with their adorable little boy. Huge love to Matt, Amy and Rory from all 500 of us and we hope this gift makes Christmas a little easier. If you want to read more about their story you can follow their website: Be kind to yourselves and others today folks.... Yes, even Uncle Bob!!  Big Christmas love from the admins, Joe, Charlotte, Ray and Jen xxxx Here’s Beky’s nomination: I’d like to make a nomination this week for my friend and colleague Matt Hall who with his family are going through a difficult and terrifying time. As a parent myself I feel deeply affected by what they are experiencing and would really like to help them at this difficult time.  This is Matt, Amy and Rory’s story: Earlier this year, following various investigations at Bristol Eye Hospital for what we thought was a lazy eye, Rory was referred for an urgent MRI scan and quickly diagnosed with a brain tumour on his brain stem. Under the care of the Neurosciences team at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children he underwent major brain stem surgery to biopsy the tumour and attempt to remove as much of it as possible. The surgeons performed a successful biopsy and a partial resection, but felt that they couldn’t safely remove the entirety of the tumour without leaving Rory with catastrophic side effects. Heartbreakingly, the biopsy result showed that the tumour was medulloblastoma, an aggressive type of high grade cancer very rarely seen in children of his age - he was four and a half months old at diagnosis.  Rory is now under the supervision of the Paediatric Oncology team at BRHC and is undergoing an intensive and gruelling chemotherapy regime with the aim of fighting the remaining cancerous tissue in his brain. Matt and Amy are both taking time off work to care for Rory. They could really do with some financial help to provide nursing care at home to reduce their trips to hospital. I spoke to Matt on Monday and he said that Rory is being an absolute trooper and being gorgeous is keeping the nurses on his side!  Have a look at the attached photos and you’ll see what I mean... Best wishes,



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