Laurie Engel was a smart, funny, charming, sparky,
sporty boy. Until he was 11 he never had a more serious ailment
than athlete's foot.
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.
BIRMINGHAM CHILDREN'S HOSPITAL CHARITIES
Birmingham Children’s Hospital treats some
of the sickest children in the country. It relies on legacies and
charitable donations to fund additional facilities, equipment, and
medical research, and to provide the extras that make being in hospital
a better experience for its young patients.