Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Great Ormond Street Hospital

Lucy (left) and me (right)!

Book reading - Great Ormond Street Hospital

Today I was invited to the Oncology department at Great Ormond Street Hospital to give a book reading for my book “Kiss it Better”, it has been something that I have wanted to do, but I did not expect it to be able to happen due to the children being so poorly and vulnerable to infection.

Armed with teddies, conkers, paints, brushes, and books to give away, I set off for Great Ormond Street Hospital. Arriving early, I was able to sit in Russell Square in the sunshine, enjoying watching the children play in the fountains, contemplating the afternoon’s reading.

Catherine from the Community Fundraising Team kindly escorted me to the hospital for which I was very grateful as it is absolutely huge! The feeling is quite overwhelming as you walk in the building, it doesn’t have the normal “hospital” feel and smell – it is bustling with people and full of colour. Catherine explained the history of the building and a new section to the hospital is currently being built – it is very modern, quite a contrast to the older parts of the hospital.

We went up to the Lion and Elephant wards and met Lucy, who was arranging the book reading for me in the ward playroom. It soon became very apparent that despite Lucy’s attempts to spread the word, many of the children were simply too poorly to come along. We did manage the reading though, and some children also did some watercolour painting afterwards. I was enthralled watching them absorbed whilst painting, it was a magical moment. One mum said that she would treat her daughter to some watercolour paints.

I knew I would find it hard afterwards – on the train journey back I have struggled to think of anything but the children and a baby I met today, it doesn’t seem fair – if only we had a magic wand.

The "Kiss it Better" book is available online at Waterstones, however if you order it directly from Kaye, she can donate more to the charity. From each book, up to £4 will be donated to the Kiss it Better Appeal, for research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancer, one of the biggest diseases affecting children today.