09:55AM, Thursday 20 February 2014
The parents of a seriously-ill toddler have spoken of the vital work of Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Service after it received a generous £10,000 grant.
Flora and Matthew Ellis, both 34, have relied on the help and support of the service after one of their twin two-and-a-half year-old sons, Peter, was diagnosed with leukaemia in October.
They visited the charity's Slough headquarters, in Whitby Road, on Monday, February 10, to meet Cliff Gray, a member of financial services network the Openwork Foundation.
The foundation has given £10,000 to the charity for the second year running and Mr Gray took the chance to meet with the Ellis family, from Shinfield, to hear them explain why the charity is so important to them.
Peter was first diagnosed with leukaemia when he and brother Thomas picked up a cold but, while Thomas got over it in a couple of days, Peter was pale and lethargic.
A blood test was carried out and within hours Peter was rushed to the Royal Berkshire Hospital in Reading before his family were told the devastating diagnosis the next day.
With Peter vulnerable to infection needing to undergo chemotheraphy and blood transfusions, the charity stepped in to provide support and a carer, Sarah Stevens, to help Flora look after both Peter and Thomas.
Matthew said Peter had 'reasonably good prognosis' and was 'one of the lucky ones' but added it was 'good to know' Alexander Devine Children's Hospice Service was there to help them through it.
The family is also backing the service's £5m drive to build a children's hospice in Woodlands Park, which is being supported by the Maidenhead Advertiser and its sisters papers, the Windsor & Eton Express and the Slough & South Bucks Express, through the Together We Can Build It campaign.
Flora said: "It's a great idea to have a children's hospice, a place of fun for children, where they can forget about their illness and be like they were before."
The charity was founded by determined Dedworth parents Fiona and John Devine to help seriously-ill children after they lost their son, Alexander, to a rare brain tumour at the age of eight.
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