Chelsey Gregory is taking time this September, which is child cancer awareness month, to spread the word about Clic Sargent and PACT Sheffield so that parents are aware of the support available to them should they go through the same as she did.
Chelsey also wants to encourage people to donate to these charities, to help them with the ‘vital’ work that the charities do.
Alfie Gregory was diagnosed with leukemia when he was 14-months-old, and ‘was forced to make Sheffield Children’s Hospital his home’ throughout his life as he underwent a series of treatments.
He was treated in Nottingham before moving to Sheffield Children’s Hospital in 2016 to undergo a bone marrow transplant, for which his mother Chelsey was the donor.
After showing signs of improvement, Alfie’s leukemia relapsed three years later and he was sadly back in hospital in 2019.
He underwent a second transplant in 2019 however sadly passed away from complications related to that operation in March last year.
“Clic Sargent work closely with families in the hospital, providing emotional support,” she explained.
“When they first meet you they give you a £170 grant to help with things like parking, travel and bills.
"There is always somebody available and even after Alfie died they were still there for us. They check on you and they don’t just forget.
“PACT also give emotional support, and they provided us with charity-funded accommodation when we had to come up to Sheffield to be close to Alfie.
“Again, they do everything for you, even going and getting a sandwich for you while you are visiting in the hospital.”
Chelsey’s mum Clare added: “They became like family. They were always there to help and we got to know them all.”
Donations to the charities can be made online via their websites, and Chelsey said there are sometimes collection boxes in Wetherspoon’s pubs.
She wants to make people aware of the work the charities do so that more people notice these boxes and donate some money.
Chelsey also said she wants to encourage other parents to make use of the support available to them through these charities.
“They are there right away when you first go into hospital, but it is optional whether or not to speak to them,” she said.
“It can be difficult to ask for help, but I want to encourage people to do it.
“Child cancer is horrific and it has an impact on everybody in the family. There is so much uncertainty. I would have not been able to go through what I did without them.”
Chelsey said her family are still ‘struggling’ after Alfie’s death, and continue to benefit from the help of Clic Sargent and PACT, as well as support from Sheffield Children’s Hospital itself.