Design a festive card to raise money for brave cancer patients with our Xmas Cards For Kids campaign
THE presents were under the tree and two-year-old Samuel Oswin was counting down the days until Christmas when his family received the news that he had leukemia.
That festive season two years ago, Samuel underwent the highest dose of chemotherapy his tiny body could tolerate.
Two years ago, Samuel Oswin was counting down the days until Christmas when his family received the news that he had leukemia. Credit: Oliver Dixon
We’re launching The Sun on Sunday’s Xmas Cards For Kids campaign to raise money for families like Samuel’s
He then spent the next ten weeks in the hospital with parents Amy and Matt, both 38, by his bedside.
This year there will be thousands of children like Samuel, on what is meant to be the happiest of times, fighting for their lives away from home – while their terrified parents are unable to work to pay for presents.
So today we’re launching The Sun on Sunday’s Xmas Cards For Kids campaign to raise money to buy gifts for those boys and girls.
We want YOUR kids to take a festive photo, then our judges will choose three lucky winning artists who will have their designs turned into limited edition Christmas cards.
Then we want YOU, our army of good-hearted readers, to buy those tickets from the website of our charity campaign partner Young Lives vs Cancer.
Your donations will go towards buying gifts and toys this Christmas for the charity’s specialist Homes from Home units, where children and families can stay during grueling treatment.
Here’s How You Can Help Kids
WE invite children across the country to help young cancer patients by entering our Christmas card design contest.
It can be a fun photo or a sentimental one, in black and white or in color. It can be chic or plain.
There are three age groups – five and under, six to ten and 11 to 16. Our judges will choose a winning card from each category.
The three winning designs – on A-size paper (A4, A5, A6) so they can be scaled to A6, ready to print the cards – will be made by Printed.com in packs of 12 – four of each design – and sold to raise money for toys.
Nick Green, the founder of Printed, said: “We are delighted to partner with The Sun on Sunday and Young Lives vs Cancer.
“Christmas is a time to come together and we hope we can help those most in need.
“For the perfect card, we recommend not placing the text too close to the edge of the design, avoiding highlighters, luminescent colors and metallic gel pens, and avoid using glitter.”
Send your entries to firstname.lastname@example.org
Simply email the above address with a photo of your child’s well-lit drawing and your or your child’s name, age address, and a few words about why they entered. Keep the original design in case it’s one of the three winners to be scanned for printing. Terms and conditions apply
The card designs must be on A size paper (A4, A5, A6) so they can be scaled to A6 ready to be printed on the cards.
Samuel’s mother Amy said, “There are so many parents who struggle, so many children who struggle. I know what it means for a small child to be away from home for Christmas.
“One little gift, knowing that someone cares about you, is so special to a child who is in such a strange environment and is so hopelessly poor.
“I urge all your readers to support this. Samuel likes art and drawing, so he joins in.
“The winning cards will be something kids can cherish forever.”
When Samuel was diagnosed in 2019, his parents’ lives fell apart.
Amy, from Swindon, said: “He got tired and bruised the week before Christmas, but he was always racing around so we weren’t worried.
“Then he got purple freckles on his shoulder and I took him to the doctor. We were immediately sent to the hospital. Just ten hours later they told us he had a blood cancer – leukemia.
“You feel like you’ve fallen off the edge of the world. We had been looking forward to Christmas and suddenly we were told he had cancer.”
At the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford, Amy and Matt, both project managers, met representatives of a charity they’d never heard of but who became their guardian angels.
With Samuel’s life on the line, a Young Lives vs Cancer social worker who helps families find the strength to face whatever cancer throws at them stayed by their side as they navigate the terrifying new world. they were navigating.
The charity also offers its Homes From Home, free residences for families near hospitals and treatment centers.
These help families stay together or close during difficult times, and some young people undergoing treatment can also stay with them instead of in the hospital.
Amy said: “Grace, a social worker for Young Lives vs Cancer, spoke to our employers for us, contacted Samuel’s nursery and helped us fill out the endless forms associated with such a diagnosis.
“She attended every consultant appointment and became an extra member of the family at a time when we felt like everything was falling apart.
“We were also able to move to a Homes From Home across the street from the hospital.
“Young Lives vs Cancer were our Christmas angels at a time when we desperately needed a miracle. There were so many families in the same situation as ours who spent Christmas in the hospital and I know some parents hadn’t gone out to buy presents, had no money to buy presents.
‘PLANNING A SPECIAL DAY’
“There have been some very difficult times for us, and being told that Samuel will need chemotherapy until March 2023 has been one of the worst.
“On New Year’s Eve, I was comforting him to sleep in the hospital bed and ran my hand through his blond hair when clumps came out of my hand.
“I collected all his hair from the floor after he fell fast asleep. That moment will never leave me.”
Samuel is now more than halfway through treatment which will hopefully save his young life.
But Amy said: “It will undoubtedly change his future. When his treatment is over, his journey is not over. Giving adult-strength chemotherapy to little ones can lead to complications later in life.
“He may be infertile, he will probably get cancer again and of course. a relapse can happen at any time.
“Last Christmas he fought Covid, so this year we are planning a special day. He is becoming a big football fan so we are going to buy him tickets to watch our local team, Swindon Town.
“And we will decorate the house with cards and definitely buy the winning cards when they go on sale.
“We want to be able to give something back.”
This is how you can donate
To donate to Young Lives vs Cancer’s Homes from Home, visit younglivesvscancer.org.uk/cardsforkids.
GIVE 5 to 70025 to give £5
GIVE 10 to 70025 to give £10
GIVE 20 to 70025 to give £20
Or call 0300 330 0803 (Mon-Fri, 9am-5pm)
You can also send a check to “Young Lives vs Cancer” with your name and address to: The Sun on Sunday Christmas Cards for Kids, Young Lives vs Cancer Campaign, 126 Fairlie Road, Slough SL1 4PY. Don’t forget to put a stamp on the envelope.
As a supporter of Young Lives vs Cancer, you will receive call and post updates and news about calls. You can change how you hear from the cause by sending the supporter an email. email@example.com or call 0300 330 0803.
Texting costs a donation amount plus one standard network rate message. Young Lives vs Cancer will receive 100 percent of your donation.
To unsubscribe from calls, text NOCALL CLIC to 78866. To unsubscribe from SMS, text NOSMS CLIC to 78866. Texts are charged at your network’s standard messaging cost.
If you have any questions please call Young Lives vs Cancer on 0300 330 0803. Registered Charity Number 1107328 and Registered in Scotland SC039857.
Gaby comes to help
YOUNG Lives vs Cancer Ambassador and Xmas Cards For Kids judge Gaby Roslin supports our campaign.
The TV and radio host, mother of two, said: “I urge all Sun readers to let their little ones draw a celebratory drawing and enter.
“It doesn’t matter if they think they’re good at art or not. I can’t wait to order tickets.”
Gaby’s mother Jackie died of lung cancer and her father, BBC Radio newsreader Clive, now 87, survived colon cancer in the 1990s.
She said: “A cancer diagnosis is always devastating.
“But for young people, it can be about keeping life as normal as possible during treatment and Young Lives vs Cancer does that in so many ways. Young people can be resilient, but this charity is here for them, their parents and all who affected by a diagnosis.
“I visited the Homes from Home and met the wonderful young people who stayed there over Christmas.
“Receiving a gift from a stranger who cares about them will be so wonderful for them.”
When he was just two years old, Samuel underwent the highest dose of chemotherapy his tiny body could handle
Samuel spent the next ten weeks in the hospital with parents Amy and Matt at his bedside
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