Together with our chosen charity of the year CCLG, we have helped to invite several families who have been affected by childhood cancer to spend a special day at The National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham
Several families from across the region who have been affected by childhood cancer were invited to a special day at The National Sea Life Centre in Birmingham on Friday 19th July, to celebrate the opening of a state-of-the-art rescue facility for seals with medical conditions.
7Formation, the company who built the 76,000-litre tank, together with their chosen charity, Children’s Cancer and Leukaemia Group (CCLG) treated children with cancer and their families to a trip to see the enclosure and its new seal inhabitants, Miley and Boo.
The VIP day was a fantastic way for the young patients and families affected by cancer to forget about their treatment and have fun, as they were allowed special access to see Miley and Boo in their new home. The seals have medical conditions which will prevent them from ever surviving alone in the wild, meaning the new facility, which officially opened in April, makes the perfect safe environment for them to be cared for with specific diets and medication.
Steve Rowell, MD of 7Formation, commented on the day. He said: “We are very proud of this project and the finished tank is testimony to lots of hard work.
“The new attraction has further enhanced the Sea Life Centres’ fantastic offering in Birmingham, and in partnership with both the centre and CCLG, it has been a pleasure to provide an opportunity for the children and their families to experience its wonders.
“We are planning several fundraising events over the coming months in aid of CCLG, and we hope this visit has allowed the children to enjoy a very special experience away from hospital.”
Among the families who visited the seals was mother Louise Ford and her ten-year-old son, Sam, who was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia last year. Currently in the maintenance phase of his treatment, Sam takes chemotherapy tablets every day and undergoes more intensive, canula chemotherapy treatment every 28 days. Though recovering well, Sam’s treatment will take three years and the side effects can make him feel sick, tired, irritable and anxious.
Louise commented: “We’re so grateful to CCLG, 7Formation and The Sea Life Centre for this wonderful opportunity for Sam. Unfortunately, Sam’s treatment has a big effect on how he feels, so experiences like this play a huge part in brightening his mood and bringing joy during the difficult times.
“Days like this special VIP visit are great because Sam gets to meet other children in his situation and realise he is not the only one going through cancer, which is incredibly important. It has been a tough journey, but we have had to find a ‘new normal’ and days like this certainly help with that.”
As part of the VIP day, the children and their families got to view the seals from the new touch points and observation decks surrounding the tank, providing an immersive and up-close experience.
CCLG supports children with cancer and their families by funding research into specific types of childhood cancer to provide kinder treatment options and ultimately, a cure. The charity also produces award-winning support information and guidance for children, families and medical professionals for all stages of diagnosis, treatment and after-care.
CCLG Community Fundraiser, Stephen Humphries, said: “We are so grateful that the Sea Life Centre has agreed to support CCLG following their work with our corporate partner, 7Formation. We received a huge response from families expressing an interest in receiving VIP tickets to attend the centre, and it has been a privilege to help arrange this day to give young patients and their families something more positive to look forward to.”
CCLG has 80 tickets remaining for children and families affected by cancer, who can now apply for tickets and select a date of their choice. To express an interest and see CCLG’s terms and conditions visit https://www.cclg.org.uk/National-Sea-Life-Centre.
To find out more about CCLG and the work the charity does, visit: https://www.cclg.org.uk
To meet Miley and Boo, or to find out more about them and The National Sea Life Centre, please visit https://www.visitsealife.com/birmingham/