Tiegan’s Star is a newly formed charity, created in memory of Tiegan Jane Bunn who died from leukaemia at the age of two. The object of the charity is to support children and families on the children’s haematology and oncology unit at Addenbrookes Hospital.
When children are treated on C2 they are often there for many months. Parents often give up work in order to look after them, effectively living on the ward. It is extremely expensive to live on the ward and often quite substantial hardship results. Options for food are limited usually it is convenience food bought at quite a large cost from the concourse there or , where possible, from the local supermarket which is a car journey away. Families are separated for considerable periods of time. If both parents are not able to give up work then the sick child may not see their other parent for days on end. Addenbrookes is a specialist hospital and families come there from a large area.
The aim of the charity is to provide support, both financial and material, to make the lives of the children as easy and joyful as possible and to ease the huge problems of the familes supporting them. Unfortunately some children do not survive and at the end of life Tiegans Star will support in whichever way appropriate, in the form of memory days, travel and keepsakes etc.
The children undergo painful and extended treatment. Often children have very upset stomachs as a result of aggressive chemotherapy and, if small, use enormous amounts of nappies which are not provided by the hospital. Siblings are separated and older children have their social life curtailed. The only way that they can regularly communicate is through technology such as laptops and tablets.
The charity has established links with the counsellor working with all the families on the ward as well as the staff on the ward itself. Through their knowledge of the families they are able to put in applications on their behalf and with their agreement. Any applications approved will be in the form of goods and vouchers etc. The intention is to provide tailored support and all applications will be considered on an individual needs basis.