Update winter 2014
In 2013 the Laurie Engel Fund - having achieved its original objective of building a teenage cancer unit at Birmingham Children's Hospital - switched to supporting the hospital's new appeal: raising £4 million to refurbish the rest of the cancer department. As of December 2014, the hospital is only just short of its target, and plans to start building in April 2015.
HOSPITAL'S TARGET: £4m RAISED SO FAR: £3.9m
OUR TARGET: £50k RAISED SO FAR: £45k
Vika's RideLaurie’s sister Vika successfully completed her epic birthday ride across Wales "from the Bay to Hay", raising £25,000 for the fund. The story is here...
Also in support of our new venture...
- Vika's Uncle Tony asked for donations to the Fund on his 70th birthday and raised £1500.
- Our friend Steve Barnett asked for donations to the Fund on his 60th birthday.
- Golf writer Patricia Davies made it her charity for her year as Ladies’ Captain of Whittington Heath Golf Club. In March 2014 Patricia presented a cheque for £6,800 for Laurie's fund to Carol Mullins of Birmingham Children's Hospital.
- Jane Keating asked for donations to the fund in memory of her husband, the brilliant sports writer Frank Keating, who died in January 2013.
- Matthew's aunt and uncle, Ruth and Mervyn Lesser, asked for donations instead of gifts to celebrate their Diamond Wedding.
- George Wood-Cole, who went to school with Laurie, is training to take part in a Tough Mudder challenge in Northamptonshire in May 2015.
- Paul Freeland built this new website, for which many thanks.
He lived on a farm in Herefordshire with his parents, Matthew and Hilary, and younger sister Vika.
Laurie wanted to win Wimbledon or, failing that, be a sports writer like his dad. Almost anything seemed possible – except what did happen. He was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer. Despite 17 months of intensive treatment, he died in September 2005, aged 13.
Laurie’s friends often speak of his kindness. He said he wanted to make a difference. His family set up the Laurie Engel Fund to make sure that he would.
The Laurie Engel Fund
Laurie was treated at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, the childhood cancer centre for much of England. The Engel family found the medical care there world-class, but the facilities and surroundings dismal.
The Engel family set up the Laurie Engel Fund to try to ensure future patients have better conditions than Laurie did. Working initially with Teenage Cancer Trust, the fund raised £1.1m – and as a result a new £2.5m teenage unit opened in 2010. It has been a huge success, delighting patients, parents and staff and setting new standards at the hospital.
The snag was that the unit created a big discrepancy between the facilities available to teenagers and to younger children, who are still being housed in the old, low-grade wards. Recognising the problem, Birmingham Children’s Hospital has launched a £4m appeal to bring all their cancer facilities into a similar class.
In January 2013 the Engels decided to redirect Laurie’s fund to support this important cause – to try to give all the younger cancer patients the amenities they deserve; and to give them the best possible chance of recovery.
Please support us, Laurie, and all the children who will have to endure treatment for cancer in the future.