DAVE GOODERHAM: From ordeal comes something beautiful

A personal view
A personal view
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One of the most pleasurable and humble parts of my job as fund-raising manager of West Suffolk Hospital is meeting such amazing people.

The woman who wins a small amount on the Premium Bonds but wants to give it away to help patients with dementia.

The seven-year-old boy who bikes 45 miles in a day or the seven-year-old girl who asks for donations to our Neonatal Unit rather than birthday presents.

The list goes on.

On Saturday night, I was delighted to play a small part in Henry’s Holiday Help.

Katie Dalgoutte sees herself as an ordinary person, mum and wife.

She is nothing short of extraordinary.

In January 2013, her beautiful son Henry was diagnosed with a grade three brain tumour.

What has followed is an unimaginable 19 months of operations, intensive chemotherapy and more trips to the hospital than anyone should have in their lifetime.

I know what it is like for my oldest son to be in an induced coma and my youngster to spend two-and-a-half weeks in our Neonatal Unit.

But I am a fraud in comparison. I cannot comprehend what Katie, her husband Phil and their family have gone through over such a sustained period of time.

But out of this has come something beautiful – Henry’s Holiday Help.

The small charity was set up to provide a one-off grant to children with cancer and their families in the West Suffolk area to have a holiday together.

To create some magical memories and help realise how precious life is.

Katie knew she was never alone in dealing with such a traumatic situation. She knew there were other parents, families, who experienced equally dark moments and treasured even more than others a simple smile and hug.

She could have easily be forgiven for withdrawing into her own family and focusing solely on Henry and his sister.

But she wanted to give something back, she wanted to help others.

On Saturday night, Henry’s Holiday Help raised more than £5,500 to support families dealing with something most of us could never comprehend.

Star of the show was Henry, looking very dapper in his waistcoat and bringing a smile to everyone in the room as he ran around equally fascinated by the glitz and glamour as much as some simple steps leading to another area. Simple things for any young boy to embrace and enjoy.

In addition, Katie has written a beautiful poetry book that perfectly encapsulates the dark and light her family has gone through.

I might not always ‘think of the late nights as extra family time’ but I do pledge to ‘capture every moment of your precious child’s life’.

You can find out more about Henry’s Holiday Help by visiting www.facebook.com/HenryTheHandsomesJourney