Our son Aidan was tragically diagnosed with a rare genetic disease called mitochondrial disease aged 1 years old. There is no treatment and no cure for this disease, he was a terminally ill child. Aidan passed away at the Royal Alexandra Children's Hospital in Brighton on 1st March 2014.
The dedicated children’s hospital staff are amazing and we’ll never forget the joy and warmth of the wonderful nurses at the Alex. However, at Christmas 2013 we found ourselves, as parents and grandparents, not being able to share a Christmas meal together as a family. This meant we were not prepared with food on site, plus it would simply not be possible to cook a traditional meal from scratch, with all the trimmings, at the hospital.
As a result, we spoke to the head of nursing and the Rockinghorse Charity (the official charity for the Alex) about our experience and what we could do to make it better. We all came up with the idea of providing parent hampers full of treats that could be taken home or enjoyed at the hospital plus a hot cooked Christmas dinner on Christmas Day. so Aidan's Christmas Dinner Project was born.
To date, we have raised over £15,000 for the project. It costs £3,500 per year to purchase hampers and provide a hot Christmas dinner for all those staying at the hospital at Christmas. This year we will provide an extra 20 gift hampers totalling 75, which are non perishable and we have a team of 5 volunteers cooking 35 Christmas Dinners at Ronald MacDonald House Brighton for families who are spending Christmas at the hospital.
We are eternally grateful to Rockinghorse (who have supported us from and enabled us to fundraise for this project). In addition a special thanks should be given to Caroline Davenport of Davenports Catering who has supported the project from the beginning and who agreed to provide the hampers for not only this year but every year. We're delighted! What a legacy for Aidan. We would also like to thank Middle Farm for supplying vouchers for a family day out and for continuing to support the project.
If you would like to support ‘Aidan’s Christmas Dinner’, which is now in its sixth year, any donations will be gratefully received, and will help us to ensure no family is without a dinner to help celebrate Christmas with their ill child in hospital.