Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Disney and GOSH team up with Sophie

ORIGINAL POST: http://www.dailystar.co.uk/news/view/203182/Sophie-Ellis-Bextor-asks-us-to-recall-our-top-Disney-moments/

CRADLING little Charlie in her arms, gorgeous Sophie Ellis-Bextor gently rocks him to sleep.

It's a world away from her life on tour as a pop star, but one close to her heart as a mum.

Next month she will play to thousands of clubbers at party-lovers' paradise Amnesia in Ibiza, before going home to her two little ones.

But like tiny tot Charlie Hewson, both of her children have needed medical attention in the past.

The 17-month old from Lee, south London, is a patient at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) and has spent the last nine months fighting Ewing's sarcoma, a deadly tumour in his leg.

Mum to seven-year-old Sonny and Kit, two, Sophie says: "My little boys spent time in hospital when they were younger and I know what a horrible time it can be.

"Sonny was born nine weeks early and Kit two months early."

In fact, little Kit was born weighing just 2lb 10z and was immediately placed in an incubator.

"When you have a sick child you are incredibly grateful that places like GOSH exist, " Sophie continues.

"As a parent your instinct is to provide the best for your children and when they get ill it goes outside your realm of care and you need that extra support.

"You feel helpless and I know it can be a stressful time.

"Luckily, thanks to the hard work of the staff, they didn't feel scared and there were lots of toys so I know what great work hospitals like GOSH do."

Sophie hears Charlie's story from mum Kate, who says: "It's devastating to find out your child is sick.

"Charlie's tumour means unfortunately he has lost his leg and it has been a long journey.

"Thankfully the road to recovery has been helped by the amazing staff at GOSH, who have achieved miracles, meaning we can soon take our little boy home."

She might be a celebrity in demand but 32-year-old Sophie, who is married to The Feeling's bassist Richard Jones, is dedicating her time to helping charities and families like Charlie's through her work with Disney and GOSH.

"I love being a mum, " she says.

"It's the start of the summer holidays and like many other families we are off to the beach for a week, away from all the craziness of our lives in London.

"It will be just the four of us and sometimes I think that's when everything makes the most sense.

"As you can see, GOSH is an amazing place and it desperately needs donations from the public.

"These little people are too young to understand what's happening to them so it's about giving them a quality of life and remembering they are still children."

Which is why Sophie is teaming up with new pre-school channel Disney Junior to launch an incredible bid to collect a million Disney memories in aid of GOSH.

Families across Britain are being asked to donate not money but memories to the campaign, which Disney will turn into ?million for the hospital when they hit the magic number of a million memories on their Facebook site.

A host of stars including Thandie Newton, 38, Sir Michael Caine, 78, Dame Judi Dench, 76, Lewis Hamilton, 26, and Spice Girls Emma Bunton, 35, and Mel C, 37, have already joined Sophie in donating a memory to the Million Disney Memories campaign.

During her visit to the hospital, Sophie tells families on Lion ward of her own first Disney memory: "I remember watching Mary Poppins over and over and over when I was five or six.

"Even now I could probably turn down the sound and recite all the songs."

And Boel Ferguson, from Disney Junior UK and Ireland, adds: "This campaign is all about encouraging families to share these fond memories with each other, as well as with us, to help GOSH."

Another Disney fan is five-year old Chian?Cloete from Southgate, north London.

She arrived at the hospital last month after being diagnosed with a very rare cancer of the brain.

Dad Chris says: "We're frightened but we have to believe that she will be OK.

"The doctors and nurses here are some of the best in the world so we know we are in the best place.

Chian?isn't frightened and has a play specialist to make sure she can still have fun."

Across the hall, New Yorker Tara Kar, mum to 19-month-old Luca, says she is thankful that her little boy is being treated here: "We've been so well looked after.

"Every penny here makes a huge difference. Miracles happen every day at GOSH."

Little Harash Bhadenegar, five, shows Sophie his painting in the playroom and then she goes to meet cheeky Vincent Oenning, age four.

His mum Sophie, from Upminster, Essex, says: "He was diagnosed three years ago but never feels scared coming back here. He sees it as a safe place full of fun."

Other children excited to meet Sophie are music fan Rose-Anne Ofori, eight, from Dagenham in east London and nine-year-old Ciaran Monohan from Longford in Ireland.

His mum Adel tells us: "GOSH goes above and beyond to make things as easy as they can for you.

"I can stay with him in his room and his brother Patrick can come and visit too.

"At first he couldn't even come out of his room but he's been really responsive to treatment.

"GOSH is a great place and anything that anyone can do to help it stay that way is appreciated."

The Disney Junior Million Memories campaign builds on Disney's long-standing relationship with Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity, which is aiming to raise £10million. Share your first Disney memory at facebook.com/disneyjunioruk.

For more info on Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity see gosh.org

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