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Whitehead family’s story

A dad’s inspirational cycle challenge for this son

A Nottingham Dad whose four-year-old son was diagnosed with Leukaemia after collapsing at playgroup found that taking on a 24-hour, 300-mile cycle challenge proved a turning point for him. Dad Hayden Whitehead’s goal was cycling from Nottingham to Edinburgh to raise money for Nottingham Children’s Hospital’s Big Appeal.

Hayden’s story started when he received a call a year earlier at work to say his son George was being rushed to hospital. George was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia, which immediately required blood and platelet transfusions along with chemotherapy during a two-week stay in hospital. George’s ongoing treatment involves a three-year programme of chemotherapy, weekly home visits from community nurses and frequent visits to the Children’s Hospital.

Feeling the need to do something in the face of his son’s diagnosis, Hayden decided to raise money for the Ward and the Oncology Day care unit where George was treated.

“Being on the ward with George and visiting the Daycare Oncology unit three to four times a week has opened mine and my wife’s eyes to the fantastic work all the staff do. They are there 24 hours a day, seven days a week helping children as young as three months old battling cancer and other rare conditions and offering kind words of support and encouragement to the parents. The work they do is truly remarkable.

“We cannot change George’s diagnosis but what we can do is support the ward where these brave babies, toddlers, children, and teenagers spend so much of their time in treatment. The money we raise will go towards toys for the play areas, TVs for the bays, DVDs and games and art materials for children to be creative.”
Hayden has already raised almost £5,000 of his £10,000 target.