‘Evelina London gives you the belief that autism is not always disabling'
Sarah Poll has abseiled down St Thomas’ Hospital and raised more than £900 for Evelina London – and it’s only the beginning of her fundraising journey. She wants to say thanks for the care that her 7-year-old daughter Honey receives for bowel and bladder problems, and autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD).
Many children like Honey need ongoing treatment at the hospital, and some have to regularly travel a very long way, as Evelina London treats patients across the south east of England.
Sarah says, ‘We’ve been travelling from East Sussex to Evelina London on a regular basis for the past few years.
‘On our visits, we've been greeted with a smiley face from Cathy, the lovely health play specialist. At the neuroscience department, we are always given sound, positive advice and a much-needed boost to keep us going on our ASD journey.’
Diagnosed with autism
Some parents find that getting the necessary support for a child with autism can be incredibly difficult, but Sarah is grateful for the support she receives.
She says, ‘Evelina London gives you the belief that each autistic child has different traits and it's not always disabling.
‘The team ensures stigma isn't attached and that the people in my daughter’s life are educated about the condition. I thank them for their ongoing support.
‘The money I raise will go to play specialists who help the children adapt to hospital life, who provide a familiar face on visits, and who are someone that the children can chat to about any worries.’
Fundraising for Evelina London
We’re so grateful to Sarah for taking on the St Thomas’ abseil, and she’s not done yet.
‘I intend to raise as much as possible. I've entered Guy’s Urban Challenge in October 2016, and I'm doing the London Duathlon in September as well.
‘Next year, I’ve booked and planned the Enduro 24, during which I’ll be running on my own for 24 hours straight.’
Sarah has some tips for anyone who is thinking about fundraising for Evelina London, but maybe isn’t such a keen runner.
She says, ‘Fundraising doesn't have to be sports based, but perhaps a cream tea afternoon or a dog walk might be more your thing.
‘For anyone contemplating supporting the hospital, I applaud you.
‘I cannot express the value of your funds, as this hospital has and continues to be a wealth of information and experience. We are always greeted with care, consideration and a smile.’
There’s still time to sign up for Guy’s Urban Challenge to fundraise for Evelina London. Find out more.