Two Lancashire lads who are patients at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre are urging people to support a fund-raising campaign using a popular children’s toy. Aasma Day finds out why Lego fans Taylor Seddon and Reece Holt want people to “Buy a Brick”.
Building with Lego has played a huge part in the recovery of Lancashire lads Taylor Seddon and Reece Holt during their illness with cancer.
Now the two boys are uniting to encourage people to support a fund-raising campaign to build a model of the new Clatterbridge Cancer Centre using more than half a million Lego bricks.
The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity has launched a campaign which will see members of the public being asked to buy a Lego brick for a £1 donation, culminating in a 1.6m x 2.8m x 1.6m replica of the specialist hospital that is currently under construction in Liverpool city centre.
Olympic hockey gold medal-winner and TV presenter Sam Quek joined patients Reece, 12, from Morecambe, and Taylor, eight, from Burscough, to lay the first bricks of the model at the hospital’s current home near Bebington, in Wirral.
Experts from Bright Bricks, home to Duncan Titmarsh, the UK’s only Lego Certified Professional, will oversee the project and train an army of local enthusiasts to work on the structure.
Reece was treated at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre after surgery for a brain tumour. He helped staff design a Lego brick replica of a radiotherapy machine to aid other children at the hospital in understanding their treatment.
Reece’s mum Rachel says: “Lego bricks played a big part in Reece’s treatment and his recovery from surgery, particularly his co-ordination and motor skills.
“We were thrilled to lay the first Lego bricks and be part of this. The new hospital will be a fantastic facility and will help patients like Reece and their families. This is a great way to raise money towards the appeal to build it.”
Taylor was also treated with radiotherapy at The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre after being diagnosed with a brain tumour.
He was best man for his dad when his parents Jeff and Jane got married in Scotland at New Year 2016.
However, only months later, in April 2016, Taylor became ill. Taylor underwent an MRI scan at Alder Hey Hospital and was diagnosed with a malignant brain tumour. He had a 10-hour operation to remove the tumour and then had six weeks of radiotherapy at Clatterbridge before having chemotherapy at Alder Hey.
Taylor is now back at school and is recovering well.
Taylor’s dad Jeff says: “Taylor is doing really well and going from strength to strength each day, although he does get fatigued quickly, which we are recognising the signs of and getting him rest when he needs it.
“He finished treatment in February 2017 and we still have lots of follow-up monitoring appointments to go to with him. He is back at school and went full-time recently. We’ve been increasing his time at school since September due to the fatigue. He now has a one-to-one supporter at school and she is amazing with him and he adores her, too.
“Taylor is steadily doing more and more of the things he used to, but it’s almost like, from a play and social point of view, time has stood still for two years but he’s developing and doing well.
“He loves Lego bricks, but still likes to play with complete assemblies rather than building himself.
“Taylor loved seeing the figures and especially of himself, Reece and Sam.
“The new hospital will be a great addition to The Clatterbridge Cancer Centre with a more accessible location for daily treatment.
“Travelling to the Wirral every day from Burscough was a challenge and tough on us all. For Taylor, it was hard as he was having a general anaesthetic every day and for us travelling and watching him go through it every day for six weeks was tough.
“However, the staff are all amazing and supported Taylor and us throughout.”
Jeff, who runs a motorbike exhaust company, adds: “Taylor is a big Lego fan and we know it helps children who are starting radiotherapy understand what is happening, so it is great that the charity are using it in this way to raise money for the new hospital.
“You never know when you will need Clatterbridge. We didn’t think we would.
“The staff were fantastic with Taylor and we would urge everyone to get behind this campaign, buy a brick and help build a new hospital for local people with cancer.”
TV presenter Sam was presented with her own replica Lego brick figure, complete with hockey stick. She says: “This is a brilliant fund-raising idea and a great way to get people involved in the fund-raising campaign. Everyone will really enjoy seeing the model take shape.
“It is a brilliant facility that helps so many people from this area. I am sure everyone will want to get involved and buy a brick. ”
Katrina Bury, head of The Clatterbridge Cancer Charity, says: “Building a Lego brick replica of our new cancer hospital in Liverpool is an ambitious project, but we are sure our dedicated supporters and the people of the region will support us with enthusiasm and generosity.
“We can’t wait to get started and see the model take shape and we would love to beat the builders and complete our Lego brick hospital before the real thing is finished in 2020.”
If you would like to buy a Lego Brick for £1 and help transform cancer care, visit: www.justgiving.com/campaigns/charity/clatterbridgecc/legobrick or www.clatterbridgecc.org.uk