A Sheffield mum has made a heartfelt appeal on behalf of the charity that supported her terminally-ill daughter.
Jane Mitchell endured every parent’s worst nightmare when her three-year-old daughter Emily was diagnosed with a kidney tumour in 2003.
Throughout her treatment, local charity PACT, based at Sheffield Children’s Hospital provided invaluable support.
And nearly a decade on from Emily’s death, Jane - now a trustee on the charity’s committee - is working tirelessly on a new initiative to help them raise £670,000, to relocate and revamp the hospital’s Oncology clinc.
“The ward is small and tired-looking,” explained Jane, 44, of Woodseats.
“The new ward would house the existing clinic facilities, a new treatment suite and improved waiting area for families. Once completed, hopefully in 2017, the clinic will be known as the ‘PACT Children’s Centre for Oncology and Haematology’ and will make a big difference to Sheffield families.”
Jane admits that, following the death of her ‘pink princess’ in 2006, her emotions were too raw to get involved with the hospital charity.
She told The Star: “The charity was such a valuable source of support when Emily was poorly, and after her death I wanted to give back to them, but I was too raw. I have two sons, Daniel and George, who are both in school full-time now and I felt strong enough to come back to the place that took such good care of my little girl and focus on supporting them - and of course the families they help, who are in the same position we were.”
The ‘Play For PACT’ initiative asks children to support other poorly children living in and around them by ‘playing’ for the charity - either sports or music and collecting donations on behalf of PACT.
Jane added: “Any child could be diagnosed with cancer at any time and it’s such a scary time for parents and their children. Being involved with the charity and being able to support other families firsthand has been incredibly therapeutic. I know how hard it is and will do anything I can to help or to make it just a bit easier for somebody else.”