Kia Oval cricket match raises £2000!
On Friday evening 30 May, our charity partners Surrey County Cricket Club hosted a very special Evelina London match at their home ground of Kia Oval to raise money for the hospital.
At the Natwest T20 Blast match against Middlesex, videos about the hospital were shown on the big screens, posters and banners covered the stadium and the ground staff wore Evelina London T-shirts in support.
Thanks to the generosity of Surrey County Cricket fans, we raised £2,000 through text donations and bucket collections.
A very special thank you to cricketer Tim Linley who single-handedly raised £1,000!
(L to R) Ben from the fundraising team with Tim Linley and Caroline and Rachael from the fundraising team
We were thrilled that Evelina London staff and families were able to join us for the match. Transplant nurse Grainne and play specialist Cathy set up Evelina VIPs, an organisation that supports children who have had kidney transplants at Evelina London. They are both delighted that Surrey County Cricket Club has chosen the hospital as their charity of the year.
‘It’s just brilliant, it’s fantastic,’ said Cathy, who is also a Staff Charity Champion. ‘It’s getting the Evelina out there and we’re very passionate about that.’
They kindly arranged for some of their kidney patients to come along to the match with their parents and siblings.
‘It’s so important that it’s families coming here today; that’s a big part of what the Evelina family is all about,’ said Grainne.
‘These kids are not numbers. Everyone – all the doctors and nurses – are on first name terms with the families. I think we’re quite unique in that sense, and that’s something we should be celebrating.’
(L to R) Jiya, Saakshi and their dad Gus
Gus, who was at the Kia Oval with his wife and daughters Saakshi and Jiya, couldn’t agree more. Saakshi had a kidney transplant when she was just two years old, with a kidney donated by her dad.
‘The Evelina supports siblings,’ he said. ‘My other daughter [Jiya] has been through this journey with us. She was five years old when Saakshi was born and she’s given up her whole childhood to support her sister, so she deserves support too.’
He said the treatment Saakshi received ‘wasn’t just life-changing: it was life-giving.’
‘We were advised by our local hospital that there was nothing that could be done,’ he said. ‘We took a second opinion at the Evelina and now I have a nine-year-old here.’
Saakshi was full of beans and literally jumping with excitement to be at her and Jiya’s first ever cricket match! We're pleased to report that they both had a wonderful time.
Michael, Tim and Michael's mum Claire
Another inspirational Evelina patient we met at the match was 12-year-old Michael, who had had a kidney transplant just the week before.
Michael’s family are based in Southampton where he had dialysis for two years until, very fortunately, his uncle was able to donate his kidney.
‘The care has been brilliant,’ said his mum Claire. ‘When you’ve been used to one hospital you think, ‘It’s not really the same, we don’t know the nurses as well as we do at Southampton,’ but they’ve all been fantastic; they’ve really looked after us.’
Michael and his dad, who was also at the match, are huge cricket fans. Michael supports Hampshire but wanted Surrey to win on Friday.
‘Cathy came and asked us if we liked cricket [this morning] and Michael suddenly perked up!’ said Claire.
Michael is due to go home this week and we wish him all the best in his recovery.
Adrian and Darren at the Kia Oval
It was also lovely to see Darren Smith, who was celebrating his birthday with his brother-in-law Adrian. He does a huge amount of fundraising for Evelina London in memory of his baby son Isaac, who sadly passed away two years ago.
‘The staff at the Evelina were absolutely fantastic,’ he said. ‘We’re still in touch with some of the nurses in intensive care. They’ve got that support going even now.’
Darren and his wife have just had a baby girl named Isla, and the nurses and doctors who cared for Isaac got in touch to congratulate them as soon as they heard the news.
As you'd expect, Darren, Adrian and all the Evelina staff and families (who were all decked out in Evelina T-shirts, of course) were rooting for Surrey - who won the match!
A huge thank you to Surrey County Cricket for hosting the game and to all the generous fans who donated.
Next up is our Family Fun Day at the Kia Oval on 13th September- we hope you can make it.