Ian Conway

In memory of our beautiful daughter Louise Conway.

Fundraising for Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity
£60,571
raised
by 540 supporters
In memory of Louise Conway
We help the hospital offer a better future to seriously ill children across the UK

Story

Louise was 8 years old when we took her to the doctors because of some unusual eating habits and complaining about pains in her legs, we did not think it was anything to worry about at the time, but the doctor suggested we took her for a blood test. The day after her blood test Louise was on a school trip at Mountfitchet castle, I got a call from my wife (Amanda) saying the doctor had rang to say we must collect Louise from her school trip and take her to Great Ormand Street Hospital.
I was in Surrey at the time and immediately dropped everything and went home as my wife was picking Louise up from her school trip. But on my way home Amanda informed me that we now had to take her to our local hospital because you must be referred to GOSH. When we got to the hospital, they wanted to take a blood test straight away at this point we still didn’t have a clue what was going on.
After about 2 hours of the doctor trying to take blood from a very upset and scared little girl, they eventually got it, at this point I had enough and stopped the doctor and asked what on earth is going on, Louise has Leukaemia the doctor replied. Amanda and I just could not believe what we had just heard but being parents, we braved it out whilst we were with Louise, but we had both been destroyed.
That evening Louise was eventually transferred to Gosh and on arrival, we bought her a giraffe from the hospital shop that she named Geoffrey. Geoffrey the Giraffe becomes a big part of the story.
After a week being in Gosh after having more tests, Louise started on medication straight away.
We were told that Louise had a very rare form of Leukaemia (Philadelphia) which had a 50/50 survival rate, after all the devastating news we had to knuckled down and help Louise fight this.
I must say Gosh and the Nurses really helped us feel comfortable whilst we were there and they brilliant with Louise. In the first few weeks we noticed that Louise became very fond of Geoffrey the Giraffe and he went everywhere with her, even when she had a special visit from Stella McCartney who was only there to see the charity team, but someone suggested to her she should go and see Louise and she did. She spent hours with her designing clothes and even made a t-shirt with Giraffe markings in her name, you could see how much Geoffrey meant to Louise.
After months of treatment and a bone marrow transplant that my son donated on his 7th birthday and then eventually a T-cell transplant. 

There were some real down times with some serious side effects. We were then told the devastating news that they could no longer do anything else for Louise and planning on sending her home in a few days. 

We were told that she only had maybe a month or two to live, but sadly Louise passed away 3 days later with her faithful friend Geoffrey in Great Ormand Street Hospital.

Louise passed away on February 9th, 2013 one year after finding out she had Leukaemia at 9 years old. We had seen just how much Geoffrey the Giraffe had meant to Louise, so we had a replica carving done of him for Louise’s headstone and the original Geoffrey was also laid to rest with Louise.

Many years went by that Amanda and I did not talk about Louise much as it was so painful but after some strange events on a Facebook aviation group, I saw that some people were editing giraffes on their photos which was great to see as it fondly reminded me of Louise’s Geoffrey.  But after a few weeks a few people started moaning about the Giraffes, it was at this point I made a comment that I enjoyed seeing them and the reason why. This was the first time I had publicly spoken out about Louise and Geoffrey the giraffe to a lot of strangers.

unbeknown to me, after some 9 months a few friends of mine surprised me with a Facebook page, that they had created for me and had called it “Giraffes on Tour”, and in the months prior to this surprise they had been flying Geoffrey's all over the world along with my favourite photo of Louise. I really couldn't believe it, and from there it has taken off Literally.

With my wonderful friends doing this for me, it allowed me and Amanda and the family to openly speak about Louise after so so many years and keep her spirit alive. I always felt I could and should do something, and this was the key that opened the door, so powerful was the need to do something, and so the journey began.

We started this charity page in memory of Louise for Great Ormond Street Hospital, one of the members of RAF Coningsby and UK spotters group, Carole Lowe approached me with regards to making a little Giraffes to raise funds for the charity since this time Geoffrey the Giraffe has been amazingly popular with lots of the groups members purchasing their own Geoffrey’s to take on their own travels all over the world, we also auctioned various things kindly donated by the general aviation community with all profits going in aid of Great Ormond Street hospital.

Please Join  " Geoffrey " at Giraffes on Tour and follow Geoffrey’s amazing adventures here:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/giraffesontour.

www.giraffesontour.co.uk.

We use a Purple Heart as a symbol for Louise as it was her favourite colour. We look forward to seeing you there.

Thanks for taking the time to visit my JustGiving page.

Every donation helps Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity to provide the best world beating facilities and equipment, research and develop new treatments, and supports their remarkable patients and their families in uncertain times, and hopefully more patients to recite and ring the bell to celebrate end of their treatment.

Donating through JustGiving is simple, fast and totally secure. Your details are safe with JustGiving - they'll never sell them on or send unwanted emails. Once you donate, they'll send your money directly to the charity and make sure Gift Aid is reclaimed on every eligible donation by a UK taxpayer. So it's the most efficient way to donate and raise more, whilst saving time and cutting costs for the charity.

Thank you for taking the time to read Louise's Story.

Ian.

About the charity

We fundraise to enhance Great Ormond Street Hospital’s ability to transform the health and wellbeing of children and young people. Donations help to fund advanced medical equipment, child and family support services, pioneering research and rebuilding and refurbishment.

Donation summary

Total raised
£60,570.61
+ £4,729.89 Gift Aid
Online donations
£52,429.61
Offline donations
£8,141.00

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