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Appeal: Help us make Christmas for young people with life-limiting illnesses at Bexley charity chYps

PUBLISHED: 07:00 28 November 2013

Lisa Edmonds with her son Cam

Lisa Edmonds with her son Cam

Archant

Today sees the launch of the Bexley Times Christmas appeal. We’re working with local businesses to support chYps – a local charity which cares for youngsters with life-threatening and life-limiting illnesses – and we’re asking you to get behind us. Read on to find out more.

A child enjoys the weekly Friday Fun Club, thanks to chYpsA child enjoys the weekly Friday Fun Club, thanks to chYps

A Kent mum has hailed chYps as a “life saver” for the support it gives to her ill son.

Lisa Edmonds’ son Cam, 13, has Duchenne muscular dystrophy, a severe condition that predominantly affects young boys.

His symptoms include finding it difficult to raise his arms, and he has been in a wheelchair permanently since he broke his leg in a fall in June 2012, but the support from the charity has helped to lift his family’s spirits.

Lisa, of Riverview Park, Gravesend, said: “They have been absolutely fantastic. I honestly don’t know where we’d be without them.

Businesses participating in our appeal

Donations can be handed into any of the following businesses who are kindly participating in our appeal:

Bennett & Brown, 21-24 Windmill Street, Gravesend, DA12 1AS

Dartford Greek Taverna, 59-65 Hythe Street, Dartford, DA1 1BG

Erith Flooring Ltd, 2 Mill Road, Northumberland Heath, Erith, DA8 1HN

James Harper Funeral Directors, in 9 Plaistow Lane, Bromley BR1 4DS; 23 High Street, Westerham, TN16 1RA and 224 Main Road, Biggin Hill, TN16 3BD

Kitchen Concepts, 116 Blackfen Road, Sidcup, Kent, DA15 8SW

Maple Leaf Kitchens & Bedrooms, 79 Hythe Street, Dartford, DA1 1BG

Paynes Menswear, 104 Station Road, Sidcup, DA15 7DE

Practical Car & Van Rental, 18 The Brent, Dartford, DA1 1YN

The Clarendon Royal Hotel, Royal Pier Road, Gravesend, DA12 2BE

TownCentric, 18a St Georges Square, Gravesend, DA11 0TB

We Love Cakes, 46 Bexley High Street, Bexley, DA5 1AH

“I have rung them out of hours for advice and they are brilliant - there is always someone there. ChYps has been a life saver.”

The charity, which also offers hospice at home care to children throughout west Kent, offers palliative care for children with life-limiting and life-threatening illnesses, with a specialism in cancer care.

Its focal point is that it takes its care straight to children’s homes, providing them with the support they need. For Lisa, this includes nurses visiting to take Cam’s blood pressure and provide him with play therapy and respite care.

He also attends a monthly event to meet other patients.

The charity, which has its offices in Northfleet, believes it is also important to take care of patients’ relatives, with nurses looking after Cam once a week so his parents can take some time out.

A significant part of chYps’ role is to support children who will likely die before they reach adulthood.

Head of care Tracie Dempster said: “We have all the clinical support, but it is important we also give them a fun time.

“The biggest thing we can give to these children is a high quality of life.”

As Cam’s degenerative illness progresses, the family is going to need chYps services more and more.

Lisa said: “It is hard - you just have to get on with it and take it day by day, but we wouldn’t be in as high spirits without chYps.”

To support our appeal, you can donate new toys and unwanted Christmas gifts before and after the big day.

These can then be sold at the charity’s 14 shops across Kent and Bexley to raise vital funds.

For more information on chYps, visit www.chyps.org.

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