Theodora Children's Trust Newsletter Spring/Summer 2013

Theodora Children's Trust

Newsletter Spring / Summer 2013

The difference we're making

"All the Giggle Doctors do a wonderful job. To be able to make someone so happy during a time when things are not as good as they should be for a child or their family is the best present ever. Thank you."

Mo H

"My son was on dialysis for 3 years at Evelina Children's Hospital and he looked forward to the Giggle Doctors coming round on a Monday afternoon. It really helped lift the spirits of not just the children but also us parents who are there with our children. I hope that you will continue these visits for years to come as this is a much needed service for all the children in hospital. Thank you for making us laugh through such difficult times."

Ijaz H.

"As a child I spent many months at Great Ormond Street Hospital. I understand how daunting hospital can be for a child. I think what the Giggle Doctors do is fantastic and it's great to see the impact they have on the children. The room really lights up when the Giggle Doctors are around."

Will B., Double Paralympic Medallist


As we step into spring, our ten new Giggle Doctors are finishing their training modules and are about to put on their Giggle Doctor coats for the first time.This means music, magic and laughter for 18,000 more children in hospital and residential homes across the UK.

We love it when parents tell us how they felt when they saw their child smile for the first time in weeks. Read Ava's story on page 4 to hear how brave Ava found ways to laugh with Dr. Wonderpants despite dealing with the effects of chemo aka 'wiggly juice'. Check out pages 6 and 8 to find out about two easy and cost free ways to help bring smiles to children like Ava.

Thank you so much for all the giggles.

Ava's Story

We spoke to Kerry McCarthy, whose 2 year old daughter Ava has benefited from the joy that the Giggle Doctors bring:

When did Ava first become ill and what were her symptoms?

"Back in July I was getting Ava changed and ready for bed on a Wednesday night when I felt a hard lump on the left side of her tummy. My husband, Chris came and had a look and felt it as well and didn't think it felt right. The next day we took Ava to the Doctor. They thought it was constipation. On Friday morning Chris went out to work at 5am, and just after Ava woke up crying and huddled up in her bed.She had brought up some green vomit.I knew this wasn't right and got my mother and father-in-law round to look after Aston, who was 6 months old at the time, and took Ava to A&E. They did a few scans and by lunch time we were in an ambulance on our way to Great Ormond Street Hospital. More scans and tests followed and then on Monday they confirmed that the diagnosis was cancer."

How did you feel?

"It was a massive shock. I was in GOSH and Chris was round my parents house, as he had gone back to be with Aston. It was an awful feeling. It took a while to actually sink in and for us to realise how serious it could be. I don't think we ever let our minds wander to what could have been the worst outcome. We knew we had to stay positive for Ava's sake."

How did the illness affect Ava?

"She has remained positive and cheerful throughout.She does get lots of times when she is tired and feels sick with the chemo. She lost a lot of weight as the

tumour was squashing her tummy and she didn't feel like eating a lot. As a result of the chemo she started losing her hair, and she is convinced that when it comes back it will be pink. Being so young we have told Ava that she had a poorly tummy and the doctors are fixing her. She calls her chemo wiggly juice and she knows this is making sure no nasty lumps come back to her belly. She seems happy with this."

How did the Giggle Doctor visits help? "Ava loves seeing the Giggle Doctors when she is in hospital, especially when she is on the chemo drip for 5-6 hours as it can be difficult to entertain her ourselves. The Giggle Doctors make her laugh and she loves the balloon animals and bracelets they make (Daddy also loves their jokes!).

Ava has seen lots of different Giggle Doctors in Addenbrookes and GOSH. She always talks about them after they have gone.She loved the fact that Dr Wonderpants came to her Pink Party fundraiser!"

If you have a story about how Giggle Doctors helped your child. We'd love to hear from you.

Please email Clare:

or call on 020 7713 0044

Chores for Chuckles

We're asking you to take on a simple everyday chore (or lots of chores!) in return for a donation. Whether it's making cups of tea for the family or sweeping the office floor, Chores for Chuckles is about rolling up our sleeves to help seriously ill children across the nation.

Even if you just do one chore it will make a huge difference.

All money raised will go towards supporting the fabulous work of our Giggle Doctors, who bring laughter to children and their families at such upsetting and difficult times.

To download your Chores for Chuckles pack visit:


Give a Giggle

If you would like to make a donation to Theodora Children's Trust, please go to or write a cheque made payable to Theodora Children's Trust and post it to Theodora Children's Trust, 40 Pentonville Road, London, N1 9HF. Thank you for your support.

Community Fundraiser

Would you like to volunteer for Theodora Children's Trust from the comfort of your own armchair? Whether you work full-time and just have a couple of hours a month to spare or whether you have lots of time on your hands, we need your help! We are
looking for Volunteer Community Fundraisers who will spread the word of Theodora among their friends, family and colleagues and fundraise to bring smiles to children in hospital. If you would like to hear more about becoming a Volunteer Community Fundraiser, please contact our Charlotte by emailing her at or by calling her on 020 7713 0044.

Hospital List

Addenbrookes Hospital, Cambridge

Royal United Hospital, Bath

Birmingham Children's Hospital

Bradford Royal Infirmary

Royal Alexandra Hospital, Brighton

Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, London

Evelina Children's Hospital, London

Great Ormond Street Hospital, London

Royal Manchester Children's Hospital

North Manchester General Hospital

Nottingham University Hospital

Young Epilepsy, Surrey

Glan Clwyd Hospital, Rhyl

Royal Berkshire Hospital, Reading

Royal Oldham Hospital, Manchester

The Royal Marsden Hospital, Surrey

Sheffield Children's Hospital

The Children's Trust, Tadworth

If you would like to contact us, please don't hesitate to call us on 020 7713 0044 or email us at We'd love to hear from you!

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