30 children a week in the UK are given a cancer diagnosis, and more are told that they have a life threatening or terminal illness in one form or another. Many of these, especially those diagnosed with leukaemia will be under 5 years old.
When children are newly diagnosed with any life threatening or terminal illness, the shock to both parents and patients is immense. The hospital environment, full of new sights, sounds and smells can be disturbing. They are very quickly thrown into an environment alien to them and have to take in a whole new world of procedures, language and interactions with doctors, nurses and other health professionals. This all has to be done while accepting the diagnosis itself. It is a very frightening and challenging time for all concerned.
Olly The Brave was developed with this in mind, to help with the child’s emotional well-being.
The pack consists of Olly The Brave, a toy lion,and a book, ‘Olly The Brave And The Wigglys’. They are given to children needing a central or Hickman line, enabling medication or nutritional support to be administered and bloods to be taken without the repeated use of needles. Olly has his own line and also has a detachable mane that helps to explain and normalise the hair-loss that comes with many types of chemotherapy. The book, beautifully written and illustrated by Diane Maybey, tells the story of Olly, his family and friends. It explains, in a very child friendly way, the initial diagnosis and preparation for his operation to install his lines.
These are donated to children either through their hospital or can be requested directly.
If you have a child needing an Olly The Brave Pack, apply via the provided form.