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Grundisburgh mother Nicky Brown calls on Suffolk to support EACH's Big Give Christmas Challenge

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A Suffolk mother whose 11-year-old son died this year has called on people to support a Christmas challenge in aid of a hospice which helped them in their hour of need.

Nicky Brown, from Grundisburgh, wants the county to back the East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) Big Give Christmas Challenge, which runs until December 7.

This year's festive period will be tough and emotional for Nicky, husband Tom and sons, 18-year-old Ben and nine-year-old Luca - as it will be the first without their son and brother, Tom.

Tom Brown
Tom Brown

Nicky said: "I am not looking forward to it and it is never going to be the same again. We have all accepted that and so we are going to do it a little differently to other years."

The 11-year-old lived with a range of complex health issues, including being diagnosed with rare brain conditions polymicrogyria and schizencephaly when he was just a baby.

He also had chronic lung disease, meaning he was often in hospital with chest infections, and a severe form of epilepsy called Lennox-Gastaut syndrome.

Tom with his nine-year-old brother Luca
Tom with his nine-year-old brother Luca

Then his family were told he had Osteosarcoma, which is a type of bone cancer, in his right leg.

With treatment out of the question, at 8pm on Christmas Day last year Tom and his family were taken from their home to The Treehouse, in St. Augustine’s Gardens, Ipswich, and received care and support from the team at EACH.

Talking to the charity, Nicky said: "I knew I had reached a point where looking after him was beyond my capability. Medically, we were in a place no parent can cope with."

Tom died on January 16, this year.

Tom with this mother Nicky
Tom with this mother Nicky

For Nicky and her family, who continue to receive bereavement support to help them through their grief, the care and support from EACH will never be forgotten by the mother.

She said: "We never thought we would need to use the hospice. In fact, when we had Tom, we did not even know there was a children’s hospice in Ipswich.

“Unfortunately, you never know what is round the corner or when someone you know or love may find themselves in that position.

“If you do need that care and support, it is absolutely invaluable and I hope our situation inspires people to make a donation.”

Money raised will go directly to supporting the charity’s bereavement services and all donations made during that time will be doubled thanks to a pot of funds provided by key EACH supporters and partners of The Big Give.

To show your support and donate, go to the Big Give website.