24th April 2020

Good news round-up part 4

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It’s Friday. That used to mean the weekend is nearly upon us. However, as we near the sixth week of lockdown, we don’t know about anyone else but the concept of days is vague at best! The reason we know it’s Friday though is because it’s time for our weekly good news round-up…

UK vaccine trial underway

The UK has started the first European human trial of a coronavirus vaccine.

The study, which has begun in Oxford, has seen two volunteers injected. There are over 800 volunteers taking part. Half will receive the potential COVID-19 vaccine and the other half a control vaccine.

Sarah Gilbert is a professor of vaccinology at the Jenner Institute. She led the pre-clinical research:

Personally, I have a high degree of confidence in this vaccine.

Of course, we have to test it and get data from humans. We have to demonstrate it actually works and stops people getting infected with coronavirus before using the vaccine in the wider population.

Sarah Gilbert, professor of vaccinology

The full story is available here.

Ringing the bell

Whilst many people living with cancer are facing delays to their treatment because of COVID-19, one hospital went ‘above and beyond’ so three-year-old Brodie Halliday could properly mark the end of his cancer treatment.

Brodie was diagnosed with a brain tumour last year and underwent 35 rounds of radiotherapy at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre. He was set to ‘ring the bell’ but, under current COVID-19 restrictions, only one member of his family was allowed to be there, meaning his dad and sister were unable to share this milestone.

So, the charity took the bell outside.

Sarah Stead is a paediatric radiographer at the Wirral-based cancer centre:

“As patient safety is our top priority, having visitors into the hospital isn’t possible at the moment, but the team and I made sure Brodie could safely have his celebratory moment.

Patients and families dealing with cancer already enough on their plates. It’s part of our job to go that extra mile to ensure they’re given extra special care and compassion during these extenuating circumstances.

“He had quite a socially distant crowd in the end, of fellow patients and Clatterbridge staff cheering him on.”

Community spirit

One of the most incredible positives to come out of this situation is the rejuvenation of community. This was never more apparent that last week when a neighbourhood in Redditch, Worcestershire came out in force to sing happy birthday to one of its residents.

Barbara Bakewell was facing spending her 98th birthday, isolated and alone. But her wonderful and kind neighbour was determined that wasn’t going to happen.

He knocked on everyone’s door and asked them to gather in their front gardens to sing to her.

Video available on the LadBible Facebook page

Click the image to watch the video on the LadBible Facebook page.

Hope for the future

We have been overwhelmed by the response we have had from our 30th anniversary appeal. Our founder, Ray Donnelly, had this to say:

“It is incredibly humbling to not only see the donations come in but also read about how the charity has helped, is helping and what it means to you.

When I started this charity in 1990, it was in the face of opposition, the face of negativity, the face of hopelessness. But seeing your incredible generosity kind words, it gives me, and the whole charity, real hope for the future.

Rest assured, we are doing everything we can to get through the pandemic; the alternative just isn’t worth thinking about.

Things are hard and we don’t know how long we will find ourselves in this difficult situation. But we are resilient. You make us resilient. Your creativity is inspiring, your generosity – through our Facebook fundraiser and donations through our website – is astonishing. So, thank you.

And as Roy would say, dedication is the name of the game.”

You can read Ray’s full message of thanks here.