• Hannah Armitage

Raising awareness and speaking out about childhood cancer!


On Thursday the 9th March for the last hour of my radio show I was joined by a very special guest, Dawn Allen. Dawn is a an amazing lady from Milton Keynes who is a mummy to an angel, her angel is called Henry, a little boy who had a 2 year battle with the dreaded word, Cancer. Henry will forever be 4, but his mum, Dawn continues every day to help families who went through what she did and still is to this day, and to raise awareness for Childhood cancer.

Dawn bravely came on the show to share her story with my listeners.

She spoke about Henry when he first became unwell. As a mother she knew something wasn’t right. We have that mother instinct that tells us something is wrong with our babies. Dawn went back and forth to her GP and was fobbed off with excuses like constipation and virus’.

After 5 visit to her GP Henry fell really ill and was rushed to John Radcliffe hospital. Dawn was there told the terrifying news no parent ever wants to hear. Her baby was fighting for his life. He was diagnosed with Stage 4 High risk Neuroblastoma, a type of childhood cancer.

For the next 2 years Henry had to go through many chemotherapy session, surgeries, tests, medication. Anything to try and make him a healthy little boy again and be able to do what other kids do like goes to school.

Unfortunately Henry’s condition determinate and after fighting for as long as he possible could there was no time to seek alternative treatments and Dawn and her family made the heartbreaking decision to take Henry home and enjoy their last moments as a family. This was also Henry’s wish. He wanted Christmas and fireworks. Henry got his wish and forever memories were made while Henry was at home with his family.

On Sunday 20th October, Henry could no longer fight and gained his angel wings.

Dawn spoke so bravely about her journey with Henry and is truly and inspiriting woman.

Also on the show we briefly spoke about the charity Dawn now runs called The Henry Allen Trust.

Friends and Family set up the Henry Allen appeal when Henry was undergoing his treatments. The appeal was to raise money for Henry to go abroad for treatment. The appeal managed to raise a whopping £135,000 a really showed the Allen family how much people cared. The Milton Keynes community pulled together but they were also supported from people all over the world. In 2014 Henrys parents Dawn and Mark set up The Henry Allen Trust. A registered charity which aims to support local oncology children from ages 0-18 and their families. Henry was such an upbeat little boy always making people smile, he wanted to help make other families smile to, and so that is exactly what this charity is about. Henrys family bringing happiness to your family.

Here are the comments from Dawn and Mark about what the charity aims to do:

• Fundraising for treats and wishes to provide memories for ALL immediate members of a family following a cancer diagnosis in a child or children.

• Ongoing support and guidance for families from point of diagnosis.

• Working closely with local and shared care hospitals and community teams to improve processes and care programmes. Raising awareness by educating staff and nurses on best practice from the point of diagnosis.

• Assisting in the production of 'books' aimed at families to help them to understand what will happen during their oncology journey.

Fundraising events will take place throughout the year and we welcome members of the public to help support us by holding their own events, attending one of ours or simply by donating. We will always make sure our priorities lie with the immediate families whose lives have been turned upside down and support them however we can. Most importantly for us, we want to help those families create special memories not just for the child fighting their bravest battle, but for their parents, siblings and extended family.

Henry's life may have been short, but his impact on this world has been everlasting. Mark and I are determined to offer somewhere for people to turn to for comfort, retreat and support when they most need it. After all, what is life unless you Hope, Dream, Believe... An army of volunteers made up of friends and family will help us to create this legacy for our little boy and we hope you will help us too. As said at his celebration of life...If not for me, for Henry.

Now I only had an hour with Dawn on my radio show and it was not enough time to discuss everything we wanted to. I personally have followed Henry’s story and always wants to help, but sometimes you don’t know how you can. I will now be working with Dawn and the Henry Allen trust.

Dawn will be regularly coming on my show to talk about upcoming fundraiser events and different ways you can help the charity and continuing to raise awareness. The scary thing about this story is Dawn knew something wasn’t right with her child but the medial professionals swept it under the carpet. If Henry’s condition was spotted earlier there is a chance he could have survived with the right treatment.

Please keep a look out on my social media pages for the next time Dawn will be coming on to share upcoming events such as ‘H festival’. You can also follow the charity and all their work on Facebook.

www.facebook.com/thehenryallentrust

To listen to Dawn tell her story on my radio show simply click on the radio tab on this website and listen to show dated 09.03.2017- The show is 2 hours long but Dawns story begins 67 minutes in.

Lots of Love

Hannah xxx


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