Sheffield Children’s Hospital patient get his Christmas wish

A Sheffield schoolboy has been given his Christmas wish after working hard to fund one of the Children’s Hospital’s snowflakes.

Monday, 6th December 2021, 3:01 pm
Updated Monday, 6th December 2021, 3:01 pm

Birley Primary Academy pupil AJ Parkin, aged nine, has raised money for a Christmas Snowflake which will be illuminated at Sheffield’s Children's Hospital from December 6.

AJ is undergoing long-term treatment for neuro thyroid metastasis type 1, using a form of chemotherapy.

Mum Leanne said: “He’s done lots of baking and has been making sausage and mince pies – but has only been selling to people he knows, because of Covid.”

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AJ's snowflake at Sheffield's Children's Hopspital

Leanne said “There is an AJ Fund for AJ, just to get him some funds for when he finishes his treatment , if he wants to go away he’s got some money available.

“He hasn't been able to do anything, especially when Covid started. He hasn’t been able to see his friends, have fun or go out, just because sometimes his immune system drops.”

AJ Parkin has been raising money for Sheffield Children's Hospital

AJ’s education has also been difficult too, with his treatments and Covid restrictions, and he has only been able to attend school for short periods.

Leanne said: “He’s been going for an hour and half on Wednesday and Friday, but that’s only as much as he can manage because he gets really tired.”

The switch on takes place on December 6, and although AJ has a round of treatment on the same day, he is determined to be there.

Leanne added: “On that day he’s going for his chemo and he’s going to have his MRI, he’ll be doing both.

“We’ll stick around so he can watch the switch on, because he really wants to.”

Over 250 snowflakes are adorning the hospital and have been carefully assembled over several weeks by scores of volunteers.

The illuminated snowflakes cost between £500 and £6,000 to sponsor and have seen businesses, schools, community groups and thankful families raise more than £250,000.

This year’s fundraising will go towards a new helipad and expanded emergency department at the hospital. The department was built to see a maximum of 32,000 patients a year, but now sees 60,000 every 12 months.

Under the plans, the waiting room would expand to four times its current size, with an additional triage assessment area and more treatment, consultancy and examination rooms.

Tchad Western, corporate partnership manager at The Children’s Hospital Charity added: “A huge thank you to all our sponsors who have helped us raise a record-breaking amount for Sheffield Children’s Hospital this Christmas.

“Every penny raised will help us in our appeal for an expanded Emergency Department, which as a designated Major Trauma Centre, helps up to 200 children a day from across the region with every possible problem imaginable”.

To support the fund for AJ, click here.