Just over a year ago, Coventry four-year-old Nancy Harvey-Noble was looking forward to starting school. Then suddenly, two months into her education, she developed flu-like symptoms being before diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.
Enduring seven months of intense chemotherapy and other treatments is a frightening ordeal for someone so young and particularly stressful for family and friends alike. But a children’s charity is providing a unique focus in such difficult circumstances.
At the outset of her treatment Nancy’s family, from Green Lane, was introduced to Beads of Courage, funded by the charity Be Child Cancer Aware. Each bead represents a challenge overcome on her cancer journey whether it’s an ambulance ride, a hospital appointment or other memorable event.
“The beads represent an individual journey and remind Nancy of milestones she’s reached along the way,” said mom Kerry. “Talking about each one she collects keeps us positive and enables Nancy to talk more freely about her illness.”
Nancy’s beads have also helped others understand her illness, including young classmate Luke Arnold. Luke talked about Nancy’s beads to dad John and partner Debbie, a tutor in the Smithford Way offices of employment and training specialists Pertemps People Development Group.
“I was aware that Kerry had raised £1,000, and John another £140, so I wondered what I could do to support” said Debbie. “I contacted our payroll giving scheme and was over the moon when they agreed to contribute a further £400 to help buy more beads for such brave children.”
Kerry added that all the children are so proud of their beads and the money would help patients in Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital and the University Hospital in Coventry. To learn more about the programme visit: www.bechildcanceraware.org/beads-of-courage
PPDG won the five to seven year Work Programme contract as a prime deliverer in Staffordshire, the Birmingham, Solihull & Black Country region in a national tendering process carried out by the Government. Its team of employment experts provides advice on benefits, confidence building, one-to-one support, CV and interview preparation as well as finding the right job or training course. In partnership with DWP, the Ministry of Justice and Jobcentre Plus, PPDG delivers a diverse range of employment and training initiatives and many programmes financed by the European Social Fund. The company came second in The Sunday Times Best Companies to Work For 2012.