TCCL Lodge Open Day

Sep

5

TCCL Lodge Open Day

FUNDRAISING_NEWS STORY FROM DUNDEE COURIER 10 OCT 15  (With Thanks to DC Thomson)

Elizabeth Logan’s son Bruce was just 2.5 when he was diagnosed with leukaemia seven years ago – and it turned the family’s world upside down.

“One of the things that knocked me for six was the 3.5 years of on-going chemotherapy,” Elizabeth, of Dairsie, in Fife told The Courier.

“You are in this vacuum or bubble – a treatment regime – and yet normal family life must go on.”

From siblings to grandparents, the whole family was affected.

But Elizabeth said her son Tom, who is three years older than Bruce, suffered in particular.

She said: “It was tough for everyone seeing Bruce unwell, losing his hair, and going through regular chemo treatment. But because we couldn’t consider going on holiday abroad, it meant Tom was deprived of his holiday.

“In the end we went on holiday to the west coast and visited my parents down south, linking up with the local hospitals in case of emergencies. But every time we went away, we took a deep breath, because we were stepping away from Ninewells, the hospital we knew.

“So to now have something like this, for people to have a holiday on the doorstep, safe and secure within range of Ninewells, is amazing.”

With Bruce now well again, and studying at St Leonards School, Elizabeth is about to take up the role as manager of the newly created TCCL Lodge in St Andrews.

The lodge is the sister charity of Tayside Children with Cancer and Leukaemia (TCCL), a charity which has been serving the Tayside and North East Fife community since being established in 1994.

Working closely with the oncology staff at Ward 29 in Ninewells Hospital, Dundee, TCCL specialises in supporting families in the local area who have a child under the age of 21, who has been diagnosed with either cancer or leukaemia.

But three years ago it was still only a dream for TCCL to own a holiday home for local children with cancer and their families.

That all changes this month, however, with the official opening of the TCCL holiday house in St Andrews following a £500,000 fundraising campaign.

Thanks to a massive surge of support from across north east Fife and beyond, the charity was able to buy a £360,000 house in the town’s Horseleys Park last Christmas.

Since then the committee - comprising members of the original TCCL charity set up to provide practical, emotional and financial help to families going through the cancer journey and TCCL Lodge, the committee which focused on finding a suitable property and renovating it - have realised their dream.

Now the committee is hosting an open house to thank everyone who has shown support for the charity.

During a 28-year career at Ninewells Hospital, retired paediatrician Dr Rosalie Wilkie experienced at first hand the demand for supporting families of children battling cancer.

And as chairperson of TCCL Lodge, she’s delighted that the house is almost ready to take its first families.

She told The Courier: “When you think back to the formation of TCCL, it was broadly to provide wrap-around care for children and families in the area.

“It was the sort of care that the NHS could not do quickly enough. Often families had to stop work when a child fell ill, and support might be needed when parents needed it for things like a broken washing machine. Or siblings often feel they get less than their fair share of attention from parents and grandparents because the ill child’s needs and wishes come first.

“At that time I was involved from the Ninewells perspective. TCCL catered for more of the social needs.

“But even then it was clear holidays were very important and could be sacrificed by parents on a budget. That was when the dream of owning a holiday home was born.”

The TCCL Lodge committee of volunteers was established in 2012 and includes parents who have experienced the pain of having a child with cancer and know first-hand the support requirements of a family during diagnosis, treatment, remission and when treatment isn’t successful, bereavement.

Dr Wilkie said that when looking for a property, parents were surveyed and preferences were for it to be close to the sea, and within one hour from Ninewells. The four-bedroom St Andrews property with its enclosed garden and access to amenities was ideal.

Dr Wilkie said support from the people of St Andrews had been “amazing”.

She added: “St Andrews has taken the lodge to its hearts. The support from businesses, the university, the Byre Theatre, the golf courses, individuals and the neighbours round about as well. It’s been fantastic.”

On Saturday October 10 donors and supporters are being invited to visit and on Sunday October 11 it’s open to the whole community to have a look at 20 Horseley’s Park.

From early November, TCCL Lodge will offer a week’s free accommodation for families primarily using Ninewells for cancer treatment, although the service will be extended to families in other areas if capacity allows.

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TCCL is a registered Charity (SC023997) with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR)

TCCL Lodge Company is a registered Charity (SC043006) with the Office of the Scottish Charity Regulator (OSCR).

Please remember any money raised for TCCL goes direct to support the children and families in Tayside who need it most. We don't pay any wages and our committee is staffed by volunteers who don't take a penny for their hard work.

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