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 aterminally ill child. Aidan passed away at theRoyal 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, with the stress of the situation we found ourselves, as parents and grandparents, not 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, a 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 a ‘Christmas Dinner Kit’. Everything a family needs to make Christmas dinner just by heating it up. And so Aidan's Christmas Dinner Project was born.
Rockinghorse and the head of nursing told us we should look at providing approximately 40 units. So we set about fundraising. To date, we have raised over £12,000 for the project which enabled us to provide 40 Christmas Dinner kits in 2014. This year we are providing 55 gift hampers, which are non perishable and 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 Louise at Rockinghorse (who did a fantastic job of finding a sponsor for the hampers). 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 fourth 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.