Ten year old Belle Curran has been visiting Tŷ Hafan for short breaks since she was tiny, and according to Belle, the hospice is ‘the best place in the world’.
Belle was born with interstitial lung disease – a very rare condition that causes scarring of the lungs, making breathing a huge effort and meaning that she has to be on oxygen 24/7. Belle has been on the emergency transplant list for a double lung transplant at Great Ormond Street Hospital for nearly a year and half.
But, despite her complex medical condition, Belle has a great zest for life and has chosen to support five special charities that give life saving support, advice, care and respite to her and her family, as well as funds for items that Belle may need to help her on her journey.
And now, Belle has been rewarded for her fundraising efforts; she was the proud winner of the Outstanding Courage category in Pembrokeshire Radio’s Young Achievers Awards, which recognise inspirational youngsters from across Pembrokeshire. Belle was presented with her award at a glittering presentation evening at Pembrokeshire College in Haverfordwest last November. And following the ceremony, Belle proudly brought her trophy into the hospice to show to staff and families.
Another of Belle’s ambitions was to hang a leaf on the Tŷ Hafan Gift Tree - a special commemorative, wall mounted sculpture, located at the hospice. Every donor who has raised more than £10,000 for Tŷ Hafan has a handcrafted bronze leaf to hang on the tree, inscribed with the donor’s name.
That ambition was realised last November, when Belle visited the hospice along with Haverfordwest Ladies Circle. Inspired by Belle, the ladies have raised £10,000 for Tŷ Hafan through months of dedicated fundraising. After a tour of the hospice, conducted by Belle, the group presented her with a bronze leaf to hang on the tree, engraved with her name, and the name of the Ladies Circle.
Belle’s mum Stella, said: “This is truly magical place. Belle and I are so lucky to have Tŷ Hafan, as are so many families. Such an enormous amount of money will be so well spent on such amazing children, making their lives just that little bit happier, whilst giving their mums just a little bit of ‘me time.”
Amongst the Ladies Circle’s many fundraising activities was making a calendar with a difference. The women braved the cameras and bared all for their ‘Give So Others Can Live’ calendar which saw the women become human canvases, painted with body art hearts, lungs and other organs to highlight the need for more discussion around organ donation.