Thank you is not enough for the help and understanding!
On the 14th June 2022 my beautiful niece was taken to Alder Hey A&E and we were given the news that Silva had a brain tumour, that night she was taken for surgery to relieve the pressure off her spine and have a drain fitted.
On the 21st June we were given the heart-breaking news that Silva has Medulloblastoma, a form of brain cancer.
Silva has had 5 surgeries, 6 weeks of proton therapy at Christie’s and now getting through her chemotherapy at Alder Hey, she has also celebrated her 5th birthday.
Silva received a Milly Bag whilst on the ward, and thank you is not enough for the help and understanding that was shown to our family at such a heart-breaking time.
We would love to be able to give another family who will be going through a difficult diagnosis the support which Silva received when we first found out about her diagnosis. (Bethany – oncology auntie May 2023).
An amazing idea and made me cry!
Our 3.5 year old daughter is on L31 at Leeds Children’s Hospital and has been diagnosed with leukaemia, we went in on Thursday with a suspected tonsillitis and its been a whirlwind since.
We received our bag this morning for our daughter. Thank you so much, its an amazing idea and made me cry. You have thought of everything x (Claire – oncology mum, May 2023)
It has everthing we need!
Just wanted to say thanks for the Milly Bags you provide. Eldoe loves her big water bottle. We have the Milly Bag as our emergency grab bag as we know it has in everything we need x (Louise – oncology mum April 2023).
We are so grateful – thank you!
Thank you so much for the amazing bag and goodies. Nellie-Jae was diagnosed with leukaemia three weeks ago and she has taken a real shine to the rainbow fleece blanket, it comes everywhere she goes. We are so grateful thank you! (Jess – oncology mum December 2022)
Milly brings us a smile every day!
My daughter Anna was recently diagnosed with osteosarcoma and is currently being treated in Manchester Children’s Hospital. When we were first admitted to ward 86 for Chemo it is a very worrying and lonely experience. Straight away though we received our Milly’s bag. I just wanted to say how much this means to us. Every day we use it as our main hospital bag. Every day the contents are used by my daughter. The contents are of excellent quality. Even more importantly, to know that people you don’t know are behind you and helping you through this awful time means so much. I read about Milly on your website, it is upsetting. I’m sure you miss her every day. What you are doing to keep her name and spirit alive is wonderful. As I type this I am watching my daughter sleep under her rainbow blanket. It gives me strength. I just wanted you to know that Milly brings us a smile every day.
‘Everything was so thoughtfully put together’
We received our awesome Milly Bag on Ward L31 at Leeds Children’s Hospital. It took me by surprise with the amount of content the bag contains.
Everything was just so thoughfully put together, from the toiletries to the comfort rainbow blanket and colourful elephant plus lots more.
Layla loves her colourful blanket and takes it with her every time she has a hospital appointment.
Layla has been diagnosed with Acute Lymphoid Leukaemia and spent 2 months in hopsital before finally coming home a few weeks ago.
Layla was born with a chromosone abnormality and has global development delay, she uses a whellechair to get around and is non-verbal. The items were very comfortting and the bag itself is great for unexpected hospital admissions. Much appreciated, thank you very much.
“We are so over-whelmed with the things inside”
“We received your bag today from Ward 3B at Alder Hey and we are so over-whelmed with the things inside. Skyla (aged 6 and a half months) loved the elephant and the rainbow blanket, and the notebook is going to beome a diary for chemo days.
Thank you so much, love Skyla and family”. Keri – Ward 3B Alder Hey.
“We were so touched when we received the bag and its contents…”
“Fynle received his Millys Smiles fabulous bag and contents whilst on Ward 3B at Alder Hey. The contents were beyond thoughtful and just absolutely amazing at a truly horrendous time in all our lives.
Fynle loved the super soft blanket and the brightly coloured elephant, which has been everywhere with him – from each hospital appointment to each gruelling chemo cycle.
And Mum loved (unknown at that point) the brilliant thermometer which would be pretty much attached to my hand during chemo.
The bag contained so much more, and the bag itself became the overnight emergency bag – always packed and ready to go!
We were so touched when we received the bag and it’s content and truly inspired by Milly and Lorraine.” Nerys – Ward 3B Alder Hey
‘We can’t thank you enough…’
To receive a Milly’s smiles bag filled with goodies to help us through the first few days really did just make us feel a little less alone.
Milly’s Smiles is a wonderful charity!
Milly’s Smiles is a wonderful charity that has grown so that it is able to help many families that have had the devastating news of a child diagnosed with cancer.
Here in Leeds it always so lovely to be able to hand out Milly Bags to these families. Many families have come straight to hospital after what they think will be a quick trip to the GP or A&E, and do not bring any stuff with them. Being able to provide them with a Milly Bag that contains home comforts and essential items is lovely, the bags are always greatly received and families are so grateful.
The Milly Bags are always used again, many of them becoming the ‘grab bag’ for those unplanned trips to hospital and the lovely blankets are always a staple on the patients beds!
The Charity also send thoughtful gifts, for example at Xmas Milly’s Smiles provided gorgeous gift bags for the children and families which just makes those harder times to be in hospital a little bit brighter.
Thank you Milly’s Smiles!
Stephanie Hall – Acting Senior Sister, Ward L31, Leeds Children’s Hospital.
A very thoughtful idea
When we arrived at the hospital we were blue lighted accross with very little essentials. The Milly’s Smiles bag had more than essentials. You could tell that so much thought and love was put into these bags. From the vibrant colourful blanket, to the tea flasks and water bottles, an expensive thermometer which you need as soon as you go home and the big bag that is perfect for hospital stay overs. Thank you so much for your effort and time that you put into this. It really means a lot to us.
It made us smile!
We got blue lighted to Leeds from Hull, with nothing but me and my daughter, my phone and some money. The Milly Bag gave us everything we needed until my husband could bring some more supplies. And on top of that it made us smile. Thank you.
Your bags definitely do bring a smiles to families!
We received a Milly’s Bag back in December 2019 when my daughter started chemotherapy for a brain tumour. The contents of the bags are super useful to both the patient and the parent. My daughter loves her bag and all of the thoughtful pieces inside. I have to say it was comforting to receive, I remember how dark everything felt at the very early stages and to receive something so helpful and from a family who had gone through so much themselves was really heart warming. Your bags definitely do bring a smile to families so thank you.
I couldn’t believe how amazing the contents were!
My 3 year old son was admitted to LGI after being diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia just 4 weeks ago. We were given a Milly Bag a few days after we arrived and I couldn’t believe how amazing the contents were. I used the water bottle and the coffee mug every day on the ward. Sitting next to a hospital bed day in day out was hard, but this bag brought a smile to our faces. My son is an outpatient having most of his treatment at home now but I still snuggle up with I still snuggle up with my Milly blanket every night.
Can’t Thank You Enough
We think you are amazing and what you do for families is incredible. On arriving on the ward we had very little with us apart from the clothes we were in and a small bag of items. The Milly’s Smiles bag had every essential item inside we needed to get by for a few days, it really was a godsend and brought a smile to the face of me and my daughter during difficult times.
The bag we received was perfect and that was before I got home and found even more things in pockets I hadn’t even thought to open 🙂 such a thoughtful idea for families who find them selves thrown into a situation you wouldn’t even dream of planning for. Thank you so much for planning ahead for us.
Everything we needed. So well thought out.
Firstly a huge thank you, we received a Milly’s bag on ward 84 and we couldn’t believe how well thought out the contents were.
The thermometer was so handy and is still being used. The neck pillow, water bottle/drinks flask and blanket brought comfort on long car journeys to and from hospital, even the seemingly simple things like toothpaste, toothbrush, shower gel and shampoo are such a welcome relief when your child is admitted to hospital in an emergency. I cannot thank you all enough.
Absolutely amazing to put together and provide an overstocked bag of essentials needed in many unknown circumstances is wonderful. We arrived after being transferred from Blackburn to Manchester with nothing apart from small change and a mobile phone. I didn’t know were I was in Manchester or amenities available. The bag contained everything we needed from pen and paper to a warm blanket !
Zakariyya Imran Badat
After being admitted onto Ward 84 in September 2019, when my son Zakariyya was diagnosed with leukaemia, I have been fundraising for RMCH Ward 84 and associated charities like Milly’s Smiles.
Our Milly Bag made me smile on my darkest day when my son was diagnosed. Zakariyya was blue lighted to RMCH and we were admitted to ward 84 where we spent the next 6 months, mainly as an in-patient. We were blue lighted with the clothes we were wearing and nothing else, not knowing that what came next would change our lives forever.
It is more than just a bag – reading the personal battles that Milly and others had gone through brought tears to my eyes, as our son was going through the initial stages of treatment.
The bag was just what we needed when our world fell apart – it represented love, care and fellow families that had been through this battle before.
The bag is just amazing, you took some stress off us parents and our children too! My son loves his Milly’s smiles blanket!
Please keep doing what you’re doing, you really are making a huge difference when we are entered into the unknown with nothing but the clothes on our backs.
Milly’s blanket is never far from
Zakariyya and he loves his blanket.
Zakariyya will always remember Milly’s smiles and we will be forever grateful.
Sending lots of love to all the amazing team for supporting so many families🎗
You are amazing people!! My daughter was admitted to ward 84 from Royal Blackburn too and diagnosed with leukaemia (ALL), we was given a Millys smiles bag the day after we arrived. It is just amazing, you really do take some stress off of us parents and our children too! My daughter loves her elephant and the toiletries were a real ‘pick me up’ in fact the whole bag is! Keep doing what you’re doing, you really are making a huge difference to family’s life’s when we are entered into the unknown with nothing but the clothes on our backs. Lots of love, Mollie & Rylee (2 and a half) xxx
You can really see how much effort and time goes into one of these bags, I really love what Millys Smiles does for other families, their kind hearted approach is inspiring.
Everything you could need for the hospital goes into one of these bags, and they make what is horrific experience more bearable by offering the necessities, thank you Milly’s Smiles you are just amazing.
An amazing gesture!
We had not long returned from 2 months of Proton Beam Therapy in Essen, Germany. We had bought things in Germany to make Fynle’s treatment as comfortable as possible. After a short break we started 9 months of Chemotherapy in Alder Hey hospital. On our first admission you take things what you thin you need. It wasn’t long before you realise that we didn’t bring what we needed and then we were given a Milly Smiles bag with just everything you need from Bobble hat to blanket to a superb thermometer, travel mug wash bag it was such a massive gift we used it continually for the 9 months of Chemo! We are still using the items today even though Fynle is classed as in remission he has reqular MRI scans and appointments. It is the first thing we take thank you so much.X💙🌈
When my daughter was diagnosed in December 2019 we were in a whirlwind of emotions and just even trying to think what we needed to survive the long first stay was mind blowing. The Milly’s Smiles bag had such a huge array of essential items to keep us going while we stayed in hospital. It was an absolute lifeline in such an uncertain time of our life. The work they put into considering what parents and children will need is amazing and I will never hesitate to recommend the charity for fundraising.
Much needed support a long way from home
My daughter Charlee aged 9 was diagnosed in February 2020, we are from the Isle of Man and we were flew to Liverpool on the next available flight with no time to think or organise anything, due to the shock. We arrived at alderhey at 9pm at night with no idea what was happening.
The next day our lovely nurse Mary presented the bag to Charlee, we could not believe the kindness and the meaning of this bag.
It was invaluable to us, especially in the start of the pandemic when we could not get essentials , the bag even had a thermometer.
Charlie’s school have raised money and asked us what charities we would like them to donate too, and millies smiles was first on the list.
Thank you from the Isle of man, and thanks to Charles school (Jurby school ) for raising money for you xx
What you have done for parents like us is amazing!
Hello, we got rushed into Alder Hey Hospital early hours Wednesday morning with our little boy Freddy who is 1 year old.
He was then diagnosed with leukaemia, we had nothing with us, no toothbrush no nothing just a few nappy’s & bits for Freddy. The next day a lady came in with a blue bag we were confused and thought she got the wrong room until she explained to us all about Milly’s Smiles.
We can not be more thankful, you took so much pressure of us as we had nothing to wash with, what you have done for parents like us is absolutely amazing !
People like you make the world such a nicer place thank you so much again xxx. Lucy – Ward L31 Alder Hey mum June 2020.
Brought tears to my eyes
“We received our Milly’s smiles bag on Wednesday just gone, we wasn’t expecting to stay in the night so when one of the lovely nurses at children Manchester hospital brought one to us it honestly brought tears to my eyes an amazing thought and idea for partners who don’t expect to stay and was so useful and beautiful to have,my daughter Matilda is only 11 months old and she loved the blanket and little teddy’ who we’ve named Elsie“ Bethan – Ward 84 Mum 3 April 2020
The Milly’s Smiles bags are absolutely great and really useful to me and my little girl! When we have a 24 hour stay, or longer, we manage really well with everything you supply!
Thank you so very much. We have used almost every single thing in the bag you so kindly gifted to us. You thought of things that at a time of such trauma and sadness, we just didn’t think of ourselves. You have made our time in hospital that bit more comfortable.
Thank you so much for my bag! It has come in very handy for our unprepared stay and very well thought out!
Adversity causes some men to break; others to break records- William Arthur Ward
Milly’s Smiles is a charity that is very close to my heart, an amazing organisation that continues to inspire each & every new day.
I first met Milly in 2011 where my job as a Community Policeman entailed a visit to Our Lady & St. Hubert’s RC Primary School in Great Harwood and a cheeky smile & “high five” meant I’d made a new friend.
I made a return visit in 2012 for a meeting with teacher, Mrs Hammerton where we formed a Road Safety initiative to which Milly would eventually join as one of the 6 Road Safety Ambassadors in 2014.
Unfortunately within a month or two, Milly fell ill and was diagnosed with leukaemia and coincidentally, it was the same time I moved to the Accrington station.
Milly bravely started her treatment and returned to school whenever her health allowed and she was given a “wish list”, I must have made a big as impression on her as she did on me for Milly wanted me to visit the school once more for which I readily agreed.
I was determined to honour this wonderful girl’s memory and eventually did a sponsored diet for Lent. I was given overwhelming support by not just family and friends but the local community and businesses too, all no doubt equally touched by what Millie’s Smiles stood for. Over £1,083 was raised for the charity, such was the strength of the cause and it really touched all our hearts.
Through all of this I’ve become good friends with Milly’s mother, Lorraine and I could see in her eyes, the desire to pay homage to her lovely daughter and to aid other children and parents in any way she could and with Milly’s Smiles, they are doing exactly that and I am extremely honoured to have played a little part with my fundraising.
As with any charity, the public’s goodwill and kindness is paramount to their continued success so please support Milly’s Smiles if only to make a little girl in heaven smile even brighter. Thank you.
PC Dave (Dave Render)
I consider myself lucky to be able to give the families something – Staff Nurse Ward 3B
I just wanted to let you know about the numerous positive feedback reports I have had from new families re the Millys Smiles Bags, as someone who has worked in Oncology for quite a long time (31yrs) I consider myself very lucky to be able to give the families something during those first few days after diagnosis when they are experiencing something so awful, At such a difficult time it is so nice to be able to bring even just a little comfort, It isn’t usually until a few days after receiving the bags that families show their appreciation, I know the reason for this is that initially they are in a state of shock after those first few days they really are grateful.
It is such a lovely feeling to make someone’s life a little bit easier. Thanks Mary.
Thank You for what you do
We arrived on ward 84 at the end of November 18 and like many others our world was turned upside very quickly with the diagnosis of our 5 year old girl with Leukaemia (ALL).
It is now mid Feb 19 and we are still in the midst of a very tough battle due to experiencing complications with our treatment, as I write this we remain in hospital and have only been able to have 4 days at home in 2.5 months.
The pack we received from Milly’ Smiles helped us get through the early days on ward 84 and we still use the gifts everyday. Our daughter loves the blanket and the quality of the items in the whole bag is fantastic.
We are making progress now and I want to thank you for what you do – I have registered on the website and once we are though this I will add Milly’s Smiles to my supported charities to help make things easier for future families on ward 84, which is the least we can do to repay the kindness you have shown us.
Thank you so much and keep up the good work.
Having been given heartbreaking news my six year old son had leukaemia I found it difficult to think of anything else at this time. To receive the Milly Smiles bag whilst in for our long stay full of necessity’s really was a massive help.
I’m really touched that a family who have experienced the loss they have, continue to support other family’s who are receiving devastating news each day. I love receiving the updates how the charity are doing and how so many people are continuing to support each other. It’s given me great inspiration and want to help others in similar situations and to remind me how grateful I am of all the help/support and love we receive from all the staff at RMCH, friends/family’s, strangers, charity’s such as Milly’s Smiles give us.
I have enjoyed looking through the website and getting a glimpse of the gorgeous girl Milly was and how she has helped so many children and families with needed items/support we continue to receive. Any help and support others can offer this charity would be amazing so they can continue to really help family’s at the times in our lives we really need this.
Thank you Milly’s Smiles – forever grateful xxx
Help when we needed it most!
We cannot thank Milly’s Smiles enough. On our 3 year olds day of diagnosis we were blissfully unaware of our impending doom and the road that lay ahead!
We turned up at RMCH that day with nothing. No means of washing, not knowing what we may or may not need and Milly’s Smiles took that worry away.
During our toughest days my boy snuggled his blanket giving him comfort and reassurance!
For myself the pen and paper were my saviour … I wrote anything and everything down and I really think it helped me cope with our entire life changing. I cannot thank you all enough for everything you guys have done and continue to do for families in the northwest!
Your are all amazing!
Love the Anderton’s xxxx
The bags provided by this non-profit-making charity provide are filled with items which, from their own experience, go some way towards easing the burden carried by parents of newly-diagnosed children. In addition to holding down responsible full-time jobs, the organisers work tirelessly to help parents going through the worst experience of their lives. I am proud to be of some little help by knitting Rainbow Elephants and by spreading the word of this fabulous charity. I can think of no better charity to support, even if it is in such a small way.
The magic bag
I will never forget the day my granddaughter was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblasoma,during all the turmoil and upset a nurse appeared with a big blue bag.At the time you have no idea that the contents,will be such a massive help during your fight,it’s an amazing help providing the little things that are needed on an every day basis.Thank you for providing help to all those unfortunate to be in our position you’re a star Lorraine and team and I genuinely mean that❤️
A bag full of much needed essentials
When we first arrived on Ward 84 at RMCH with our 5 weeks old daughter Jorgie Mae and shortly after received a diagnosis of Acute Myeloid Leukaemia we did not really know what had hit us. Around that time when received a Milly’s Smiles bag and to be honest at first we probably didn’t think too much about it, not that we weren’t grateful but probably because of the devastating news we had just received but over the coming weeks and months we found the bag to be full of much need essentials and a great help. It’s wonderful what Milly’s Smiles charity do by bringing that bit of normality and comfort to families through their bags. Thank you.
It had everything I needed before I even knew what I’d need.
My 3yr old son was diagnosed with a brain tumour 12 weeks ago after an MRI to identify the cause of his balance issues was carried out. We were sent by ambulance there and then to Alder Hey in order that he could have an operation the following day. I traveled in the ambulance with him, while my husband had to go home to pick up our 5yr old and 1yr old from school and nursery, I had literally nothing except my handbag, two nappies and half a packet of wet wipes and our coats.
To say we were in shock is an utter understatement, he wasn’t poorly just a little bit wobbly on his feet I was and still am completely numb, we all are.
That night I considered the possibility that they must have got it wrong and they would realise their mistake and send us home, unfortunately they hadn’t made a mistake.
A lovely nurse came into our room and left a Millie’s Smiles duffle bag, it contained absolutely everything I needed from a soft blanket and neck support to toiletries and snacks and what I’ve since discovered the most vital piece of kit any oncology parent will need! An ear thermometer. Our son is current halfway through intensive chemotherapy and the duffel bag is packed ready for emergency hospital stays in between treatments.
From the bottom of my heart thank you, you are helping families get through the darkest of days. This duffle bag is the most used item we have been gifted since his diagnosis, please keep doing what you’re doing xxxx
A little bit of comfort when you most need it
Millys smiles are amazing
Some people will think – what are you talking about it’s just a bag!!!
No it’s not.That blue bag is with you through the worst journey any parent could ever imagine and when you receive it in the first days of arriving on ward 84 it becomes like a comfort blanket, a little peace of normal life given to you when everything is anything but normal.
The thought that goes into the content of the bags and the work that must go into raising funds and getting everything together to get them to the hospital is an inspiration to us all sharing this journey with our warrior children and I know everyone I’m aware of that has a Milly’s bag is extremely grateful for the recognition of the situation we have been put in and the little things that make life on the ward a little more bearable.
Thank you Milly’s Smiles you are fab xxx
Such a worthwhile charity 🌈
I love this charity, I am in awe of the work that goes into it and have huge respect for those involved. Lovely Milly was at school with my own children which is how I know about it. I love how the bags it provides takes care of the seemingly little but essential things needed by families going through a cancer diagnosis with their child. It shows someone cares and understands and wants to help smooth the way a little. A beautiful charity in memory of a beautiful girl 🌈
Nothing compares to losing a child, but when Milly was poorly and wanted to make a difference for other families put in to this awful situation, she came up with the idea of a bag that has various items in for everyone, and hoped it would comfort all the family and help to make them realise they are not alone. Unfortunately Milly’s Smiles had to continue her wishes without her. But the continued support of Milly’s family and fantastic team of people wanting to help in what ever way possible, the bags are delivered regularly to the hospital.x
Please support this amazing cause get involved and let’s support this great work done by Everyone.
A hug in a bag.
When we arrived on ward 84 with the most devastating news about my lovely 11 year old having cancer. We were totally devastated, shell shocked and didn’t know how we would get through it all. There was waiting for us a Milly bag. Thoughtfuly put together with all home comforts as well as practical
Items. It was like a hug in a bag. Just the thought that someone had been in our shoes and knew what we would need on that darkest day was the biggest comfort.
Thank you so much for our Milly’s smiles bag! The head rest in itself is the most useful item I have ever had for my son! We use it to help him sit, to avoid pressure on his belly when he’s doing tummy time as he has a gastrostomy and has had multiple abdominal tumours removed, and we prop him up when he’s laid on his play mat on a feed this allows him to play on the floor without being sick. The rest is a bonus! Thanks 💕
Katharine Duncan – Ward 84 mum (May 2017)
When we arrived on ward 84 @ RMCH. I felt my world had ended. Our stay was a planned admission but for the 5 days post diagnosis before coming into hospital my brain stopped working so when I unpacked I found I had forgotten many essentials. We also started our journey in October and the ward was cold at times.
The bag we received from milly’s smiles was amazing!!! It contained so much of what we needed and also so much stuff we didn’t know we needed until it was there. Our daughter still uses her millys blanket daily 7 months into our journey. The hot drink cup with a lid became so well used as the amount of brews you make is unbelievable!
Little things like pen and paper to keep notes as my brain couldn’t store the information was an enormous help. For families coming into the ward with no warning they are invaluable and have helped them so much
We can’t thank you all enough for supporting this worthwhile charity xx
We arrived with nothing in a whirlwind like all parents on the day of diagnosis. Such a thoughtful gesture at such a difficult time is a real help. Amy still uses her stripy blanket every day.
My daughter took strength from this bag
Gives a little comfort at such a difficult time for families. My daughter took strength from this bag and gave her a focus so she could raise money to help and I can only thank you all for that. Well done to all involved but especially Milly’s mum for having the strength to do a memory in Milly’s name.