Inspirational Cancer Boy’s Legacy Lives On


Inspirational Cancer Boy’s Legacy Lives On

A mother who lost her son to cancer said his voice has urged her to carry on with his “legacy”.

Laughlin Whiteley died aged seven in 2014 from a relapse of leukaemia after undergoing a stem cell transplant.

Before he passed away, he started a charity with his parents to give out craft boxes to severely ill children staying in hospital.

“I do feel like he’s doing greater things,” said his mother Andrea Poyser. “He is alive everywhere.”

She said a “phenomenal” 700 boxes had now been sent out in his name.

Laughlin, who was also known as Lockey, had the idea for his charity while in isolation during his stem cell transplant at Great Ormond Street Hospital in London.

“Craft and art gave Laughlin a project to keep him busy,” said Mrs Poyser.

“There are big windows on the isolation ward, and everyone used to walk past and say his room was like an art gallery.

“Creating and making is such a simple thing to do. It breaks the day up and is a lovely thing for parents to do with children

The family, who now live in Alburgh, Norfolk, prepare the boxes with help of volunteers who wear protective gloves and sanitise every item.

Each contains age-appropriate toys and crafts, and is distributed to bone marrow and stem cell transplant patients in Great Ormond Street and hospitals across the east of England

Mrs Poyser said the charity, called Unlock a Life for Lockey, had “grown and grown”.

“Every time I tried to stop it came back to bite me,” she said. “I’d had a baby, we’d moved to Norfolk – but then someone would get in touch.

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“My little boy in heaven was saying, ‘You’ve got to keep going’.”

Laughlin’s former play worker at Great Ormond Street, Amy Crowley, said he was the “most amazing fun”, and had “no words to express how grateful” she was for his boxes.

“These children are in isolation for a long time… I have one patient who’s been here for a year,” she said.

“The boxes keep them busy for a month and they have things like tents which distract them from the fact they are in hospital… and changes their mood.

“So much care and thought goes into each box – it is as though they know the child… they know how much that child needs that box.”

Inspirational Cancer Boy’s Legacy Lives On


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