The Katie Nugent Fund
20 October 2020
Connecting for emotional support
“Chemotherapy attacks the illness, but unfortunately it also attacks the spirit.”
“The mental side of it is awful, with long-term effects stretching on for many years even where the child survives, and it fragments the tightest of families. But despite this there is very little provision for services to help families cope. Our aim is to do what we can to minimise the suffering and pain for all involved.” Alice Nugent lost her daughter Katie to leukaemia, aged just six years old. Together with her husband, Nick, she set up The Katie Nugent Fund, to help other families going through the same ordeal. And Lycetts has awarded the charity a grant of £2,500 to help support their invaluable work.
Katie died in 2010 after a courageous struggle. Her illness was a profoundly testing time not just for this brave little girl but for her parents and her sister Lucy too. The Katie Nugent Fund was established in 2011 within the Children’s Medical and Research Foundation to provide psychological and emotional support for the children on St John’s Ward in Crumlin, and their families, during cancer treatment.
Talking about her experience Alice says: “Throughout her illness, Katie retained her normal joie de vivre, and in doing so helped us to remain strong. It is not so easy for every family, and no parent should experience the despair that arises when abject misery replaces the normal optimism and innocence that has previously defined your child.”
Lycetts director William Nicholl says: “Some of our staff have personal connections to Katie’s family, so this is very close to our hearts and we were absolutely delighted to be able to help.” Lycetts knows that money-raising efforts become even more important during a crisis such as COVID-19, when charitable donations to many smaller, less known charities drop considerably. So, they keep up their sponsorship commitments – even when times are tough. Talking about the grant, Alice says: “We’re really grateful to Lycetts and Ecclesiastical for their support – the COVID-19 outbreak has unfortunately led to the postponement of some fundraising events, so it is very timely.” Ensuring that families of children undergoing cancer treatment get continued support is something everyone is determined to see happen.