I have found this post terribly hard to write. Despite the rather playful photograph above (taken for Kiss it Better), this post is about something that has really quite heavily played on my mind for two weeks. It should have been published on the 8th, and it wasn’t, so you can probably tell that I have been doing quite a bit of thinking.
On the 8th I went to Great Ormond Street Hospital for a ‘Kiss it Better’ breakfast with Clinique. ‘Kiss it Better’ raises money for Great Ormond Street’s Children’s Charity by donating money from every Clinique lipstick and lipgloss sold in House of Fraser throughout February. A £2 donation is made to the charity for every lipgloss or lipstick sold.
For those not familiar with Great Ormond Street, it’s one of the world’s leading children’s hospitals, providing the very best of care to children from across the UK and abroad. The treatments and research are truly pioneering – consultant Oncologist Dr Penelope Brock says “I need to know that if something can’t be done here then it probably can’t be done anywhere”, which gives you an idea of the level of dedication and expertise we’re talking about.
After the ‘Kiss it Better’ breakfast, we were taken on a ward tour to see how donations are spent, and have to admit that I was in absolute pieces. Not only because there are so many children whose lives are turned upside down by cancer, but because there are so many unutterably brave people in the world. I was overwhelmed with admiration for the nurses and doctors who take on the responsibility of saving these children’s lives, and I was just absolutely speechless for the parents and families of the children. The courage that they must need to carry their children through such a time of illness is unimaginable to me. I can hardly even think about what the children themselves must have to suffer. Outside the private rooms there were prams left in the corridor, which brought home just how tiny some of the patients are, and how totally devastating it must be to have to endure the pain of having a seriously sick child.
Great Ormond Street does such incredible work – in the early days, children diagnosed with cancer were given little hope of long-term survival, yet now the results are staggering. As an example, 99% of children with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia go into remission within a month and over 90% are cured. What a wonderful and hope-bringing statistic.
I don’t have children myself but I hope to some day and it triggers all kinds of emotions in me when I think of Great Ormond Street Hospital – the people working in it, the children being treated in it, and the parents placing all their trust in it. Buying a lipstick or lipgloss suddenly seems ridiculously insignificant after visiting the hospital, but if it helps to raise a helpful amount of money for such a great cause then I’m in.
To find out more, or to donate to GOSH, click HERE.