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£2 million Acorns appeal: 'Children's hospice is like a family'

Walsall | Health | Published:

A father of two young boys who are regular users of the Acorns Children’s Hospice has shared his story about how vital the service is for his children and family.

Care children deserve - Earldon Facey with sons LeBron and Theo

Earldon Facey’s sons, LeBron, aged four, and Theo, aged three, both have a chromosome disorder which means their lives are limited.

The family has been helped enormously by the charity, which needs to raise £2 million to keep its Walsall hospice open.

Help the appeal:

  • Text lines have been set up to make it easy to give to the appeal, which is supported by the Express & Star.
  • To give £5, text Acorns5 to 70025. To give £10, text Acorns10 to the same number.
  • For moreinformation visit acorns.org.uk/appeal

“LeBron and Theo are my life,” said Earldon.

“Their condition was a situation we were thrown into, but luckily I’ve been given help and support from Acorns.

“We were introduced to Acorns through family, so we knew what they did and that was a bonus because we felt even more welcome. They already knew us, and the dialogue was great.”

The imbalance in chromosomes suffered by LeBron and Theo means doctors are unable to predict how their condition will affect them as they grow older.

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So far, Earldon said, they are behind in their development.

Passionate

He added: “LeBron is four and started walking quite late. He’s got one of those personalities where he never gives up and he doesn’t let anything stop him. He’s not talking much yet, but it doesn’t mean he won’t.”

Earldon and his sons have been using Acorns services for more than two years, and says the staff now feel like family.

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He said: “The hospice has got everything a child needs. But it’s not just that, it’s the people at the hospice too.

“They offer a huge service, they actually care for the children and are passionate about doing anything to make sure your child has a beautiful and happy stay.

“When you leave your child here you know they’re going to get that one-on-one attention and that full love – basically what they deserve.”

Last month, the decision to close the Acorns Children’s Hospice in Walsall was put on hold after extra long term funding was announced by the government.

The move means it can secure its long-term future, but only if it can raise the £2 million to see it through the next three years.

Acorns needs to raise the money by March 2020 in order to save the centre in Walsall. It is currently the UK and the world’s largest children’s hospice charity.

It costs £27,000 every day to run Acorn’s services, with the charity relying heavily on public donations to fund the majority of its activities.

The appeal has reached around £200,000, including a single donation of £100,000.

Report by Michael Nelson

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