Woolly Hugs, Little Hugs 2: Billie's Blankets for World Child Cancer org.

(704 Posts)
KnottyLocks Fri 18-Jan-13 14:25:46

This is Phase 2 of the Little Hugs project.
Since the beginning, the aim of the Little Hugs has been to provide little blankets that give comfort to babies and small children who are seriously ill in hospital. Hopefully, Phase 2 will continue to do this and more.

We are launching this phase as a tribute to beautiful Billie, our lovely MrsDeVere's daughter, who devastatingly died at 14 from leukaemia. This is the time of her 21st birthday and we are calling the project Billie's Blankets in her memory. In her name, we will send little blankets to children who really need a woolly hug and to feel loved and looked after.

We have been talking to this wonderful organisation World Child Cancer and are arranging for Little Hugs to be sent to children suffering from cancer in low and middle income countries. In these countries their overall chance of survival can be under 10% compared to around 80% in high income countries such as ours.
The first batch of Billie's Blankets will be taken to children in Malawi and Bangladesh.

World Child Cancer's response to our initial idea is below:

'Thank you for your email and your kind offer of support. Your blankets are beautiful and I'm sure they provide great comfort to the children who you make them for.
I'm sure the children would love them. Unfortunately most of the children we see at our projects are not able to survive their cancer due to the poor conditions, lack of knowledge and the high cost of medicine in the worlds poorest countries. In these cases we encourage palliative care for the children through our twinning partners who provide training for local project staff on the importance of this care, especially in pain relief. Psychosocial care is also very important and an area we focus on through supporting parent groups and play therapists. I think your blankets would fit in well with this area.'

How you can help:

By crafting:
You can help by either making a whole Little Hug (see yarn spec)
Or
By making 6" squares, either knitted or crocheted, using Stylecraft Special DK yarn

Or by donating for crafting materials:
If you would like to contribute towards materials, you can either donate via Paypal here on our Woolly Hugs website or if you do not have Paypal, please PM RatherBeOnThePiste.

Or by donating to World Child Cancer (see below)

*****

For all Little Hugs:

Minimum size: 24 inches by 24 inches
If you would like to make a blanket that is bigger, that would be lovely.
The children are aged 0 to 14 so we will need bigger blankets too.

Colours: Your choice.
Although for practical reasons, we advise avoiding white and cream.

Things to avoid:
Any embellishments that could scratch delicate skin or could be swallowed.

Materials:
Suggested yarn: Stylecraft Special DK, a soft, non-scratchy acrylic yarn.
If you would like to make a whole blanket, you could use a different weight and make of acrylic yarn. The essential thing is that it needs to be soft against sensitive and delicate skin and that it can be washed and dried quickly and easily.

If you would like to take part in this project but feel you can't due to the costs involved, please PM Pistey and we'll try to help with materials.

*

Alongside Billie's Blankets, we are very keen to send a donation.
Money is scarce, they really have so little. In May a Woolly Hugs' team will be running the BUPA London 10k, and we have ideas for a craft fundraiser later in the year.
We have set up a Just giving Page here
Your donation is welcome at anytime.

These children need all the love and comfort possible. So please, in memory of a sparkling young girl who always thought of others, we'd love you to help us help them.

As ever, thank you so much for your support thanks

Thinking of Billie and her family. x

Knotty and Pistey

Facebook - MNWoollyHugs
Twitter - @MNWoollyHugs

RatherBeOnThePiste Fri 18-Jan-13 14:27:29

Thinking of the sparkling and inspirational Bille and Mrs DeVere. Xx

These babies and children really have so very little, with not much hope either. World Child Cancer works tirelessly to develop palliative care, and they and we are sure that our little blankets, Billie's Blankets, will be able to play a strong part in that.

The blankets we send in Billie's name will give a hug to babies and children in great need of one, bringing love, care and support. Yes, it is heartbreaking, but this is such a positive thing that we can all do together. It was Helen Keller I believe who said "Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.” Yes, we really can X

So bless you MrsDeVere and beautiful, Billie for inspiring this project.

Thinking of your family and sending much love and big hugs to you all Xx

I am here to help, please do PM me if I can help you thanks

And yes, we are looking for runners for the Bupa London 10K Run on May 27th. Team so far MrsDeVere, NeitherShreddednorSmug, Me <lawks> and three as yet unnamed lovelies from MNHQ. PM me if you'd like to join us. Dust off your trainers!

Thank you as ever thanks

BigStickBIWI Fri 18-Jan-13 14:30:23

<sobs>
<rummages down back of sofa>

Marking my place and lacing up my trainers smile.

Such a great cause. I'm honoured to be a very small part of it.

Portofino Fri 18-Jan-13 14:38:46

<<rummages for tissues>> Aha!

Very worthy cause, will be supporting as much as I can.

Oh what a wonderful wonderful idea! I can't commit atm as I'm still crocheting my Angel Hug painfully slowly , but once that's finished I'm definitely on board!

What a lovely way to remember Billie.

HoggyTruffle France Fri 18-Jan-13 14:43:06

Fantastic idea.

My knitting needles will be joining in. Good luck to the brave volunteers for the 10K.

MrsDeVere Fri 18-Jan-13 14:46:44

<clears throat> ...I would like to say a few words to explain why this is so important to me.
Billie was poorly for such a long time and sadly she could not be saved. BUT as much as she suffered we always had access to the best care available. Her treatment started the moment she was diagnosed and we never had to worry about the cost of the drugs or therapies. Some single injections cost more than 1k

The thing that distresses me most about the children served by World Child Cancer is the thought of children dying in pain and without the support needed for a kind and dignified death.

Losing Billie shattered me. I will never recover, but I have the memory of her passing to comfort me.
She was not in pain, she was at home with me and her dad and she was safe and warm.
Without decent palliative care the alternative is unthinkable. But I will tell you, upsetting as it is.

The pain from luekiema is excruciating as the bone marrow expands in the bone, pushing outwards. Morphine and other strong painkillers are the only things that can relieve this.
As the disease progresses the body is unable to produce platelets. This means that without support Billie would have bleed to death in the most horrendous way.
No child should die in pain if we have the means to prevent it. No parent should fear their child bleeding to death in terror if we can stop that happening.

I am sorry if this is graphic but we are talking about children with next to no resources and if we cannot cure them at least we can give them a kind death. At least we can prevent their parents from experiencing the horror of watching their child die unsupported.

I strongly believe that any progress made towards defeating cancer wherever it is made, helps everyone.

Our help and our money can make such a difference to children all over the world.

Billie would be 21 on Sunday. All grown up.
I cant hug my baby again but I can contribute to our own woolly hugs and I am honoured that my Billie's name will be on these beautiful blankets.

Ta x

bebejones Fri 18-Jan-13 14:48:09

Wow! Such a worthwhile cause. Would totally love to be a part of this. Projects here are mounting up now though, is there a deadline?

Portofino Fri 18-Jan-13 14:51:17

Oh Mrs D! sad flowers ((((hugs))))

KnottyLocks Fri 18-Jan-13 14:52:16

Bebe, we'll be setting the first posting date as early to mid March. With later ones at various intervals.

RatherBeOnThePiste Fri 18-Jan-13 14:53:57

Big hugs for you lovely MrsDV Xx

BornToFolk Fri 18-Jan-13 14:56:50

<sniff>

I'll make a start on a Billie Blanket once I get my Angel Hug finished. And I'll be donating some cash too - I don't see how I couldn't after reading MrsD's post.

RatherBeOnThePiste Fri 18-Jan-13 14:59:18

We already have a lovely donor to thank, honestly you are marvellous, and your donation will help bring comfort to many children, bless you. thanks

thanks BIWI

You really are a star Xx

Such a moving post MrsDV thanks.

MrsDeVere I think being graphic is sometimes needed. I have a few members of my family die of cancer and the end has always been peaceful, the alternative is unthinkable and we are all probably guilty of not fully understanding that in less fortunate countries the end is far from what we experience.
I will be proud to contribute in Billies name.

landofsoapandglory Fri 18-Jan-13 15:03:31

I'll knit a blanket, or two. I have no hope of running, or walking, with you in the 10k but well done to you all who are doing it, and we as a family will sponsor you.

Hugs to you MrsDVxxxthanks

MrsDeVere Fri 18-Jan-13 15:07:24

I have just rearranged my profile so you can see some photos of Billie if you want to.

5madthings Fri 18-Jan-13 15:09:53

Haven't got any words but marking my place to come back and donate.

As an aside how much/how long would it take to train for the 10km run?

Just thinking if I have long enough to prepare... Oh how do will laugh if I say i am thinking of it. He ran the London Marathon last year.

Much love to mrsdevere and family xxx tomorrow is my bday and over the weekend I will raise a toast to Billie. Xxx

WhoremoaneeGrainger Fri 18-Jan-13 15:11:30

I will do the same as BornToFolk. Almost finished for Lemon, will then focus solely on my Angel Hug, then will start for Billie.

My love and thoughts go out to you Mrs DV. My best friend died of Leukaemia when we were both 14. 31 years on, i often wonder what she would have been, if she had got this far. ((((((XXXX))))) <sod the rules>

RatherBeOnThePiste Fri 18-Jan-13 15:13:45

5madthings - I am much more of a 5K runner, so this is a challenge for me, but I will do it. Do you run at all? It is still a long way off which is good for getting in training.

MrsDeVere Fri 18-Jan-13 15:14:34

You have got time 5mad I did one last year but am back to square one and will have to retrain!

I manage to do it without going outdoors. I do all mine on the treadmill. I am not what could be described a 'outdoorsy' and I did it last year in the rain and everything!

Thank you everyone x

WhoremoaneeGrainger Fri 18-Jan-13 15:14:40

Oh Mrs DV. Had a look at your photos. What a beautiful grown up she would have been. You must be so proud of such a beautiful angel.

5madthings Fri 18-Jan-13 15:21:20

Do I run? Ermm after the mad things yes and today I have been running after sledging toddlers! I swim but I do walk everywhere as I don't drive and am reasonably fit. I would have to actually go out and run but that's not a problem....goes to fig out sports bra..

I shall check do can book the 27th may off work, I can stay with my mil who lives in billericay and its an easy train ride into London then.

..goes off to look at the couch to 5km threads...

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