Rebecca House joins up with every UK Children's Hospice to celebrate Francesca's Cycle Challenge

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Every year, the UK’s children’s hospices including Rebecca House on the Isle of Man, come together in June to mark Children’s Hospice Week and 2022 is no different. For 15 years, Rebecca House has developed a service which provides respite, palliative and end of life care for children with life-limiting or life-threatening conditions from birth to 18. 

Going the extra mile for the children of all UK children’s Hospices is inspirational Children’s Nurse, Francesca Lennon, who is taking on the ultimate cycling challenge to launch her ChatUK (Children’s Hospices across the UK) project, to raise vital awareness and funds for the UK’s much-loved children’s hospices.

Her ChatUK challenge will see her cycle to every children’s hospice service in the UK this summer, clocking up a staggering 3,200 miles over 70 days – including Rebecca House! Her aim is to raise a huge £500,000 for children’s hospices and to raise awareness about the vital work they do to support families caring for a seriously ill child.

Francesca’s amazing journey will see her visit Rebecca House on island on Sunday 10th July to support families like Lisa Kelly’s. When Sophie was born, the pregnancy was completely normal, she was born full term but it then became apparent something was wrong and it was discovered she had 2 bleeds on the brain. Her mum, Lisa tells her story.

“Sophie was given a 2% survival rate, but she was a fighter. She had specialist surgery in the UK and then we went home.

When Rebecca House was first mentioned I admit I was extremely anxious as I had become protective of Sophie.  The compassion and knowledge that the staff of Rebecca House had was extremely apparent and I had no concerns leaving my child in their care. Sophie loved her sessions which were a mixture of daytime and overnight respite, and this allowed me to be able to relax without worry or fear.

We continued to use the service until Sophie became of school age and in 2014 we made the joint decision with the staff to discharge Sophie, and that if her condition was to change or worsen that we could self-refer back to the service. 

Things drastically changed in November 2017 as Sophie suffered severe shunt failure, and sadly passed away 8th December 2017.  I knew I wanted her to go back to Rebecca House, so a week later she was brought home and into the rainbow room of Rebecca House where once again, we as a family received the most compassionate care.”

Lisa is now proudly part of the exceptional Rebecca House team as a Health Care Assistant.

If you’d like to support Rebecca House on its 15th anniversary and ensure the team can be there for children and their families when they need them, visit www.hospice.org.im/rh15 to find out more.

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