Teenage leukaemia survivor Andrew explains how Bears of Sheffield trail can transform lives of other young cancer sufferers

A trail of sculptures has appeared in Sheffield to raise money for building a new cancer ward at the city’s Children’s Hospital. Catherine Scott reports

If you go down to Sheffield today you are in for a big surprise...

As The Children’s Hospital Charity’s bear trail, made up of 161 sculptures, got under way.

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The Bears of Sheffield sculpture trail is supporting the fundraising drive to build a new Cancer and Leukaemia Ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital. One person who knows better than most the difference the new facilities would make is Andrew Davies.

Andrew Davies is supporting the Bears of Sheffield trail.

Andrew was 13 years old when he was diagnosed with Acute Myeloid Leukaemia (AML) in September 2012. He underwent chemotherapy and a life-saving bone marrow transplant, spending 25 days in isolation. The care he received at Sheffield Children’s Hospital ensured that within three months Andrew could resume his life once again and return to school.

Upon his recovery, driven by his gratitude for the care he received and the conviction that the environment could be improved for others in a similar situation, he poured his energy into fundraising, to pay back the £150,000 cost to the NHS of his bone marrow transplant.

His money, raised for The Children’s Hospital Charity, was divided between the ward at Sheffield Children’s Hospital which saved his life and leukaemia research, to ensure future children in the same situation can access the very best care.

Building work is now under way on the new ward and the Bears of Sheffield are set to play a crucial role in ensuring the fundraising target for the project is met.

Cheryl Davidson, events fundraising manager at The Children's Hospital Charity with Snoobear by Deven Bhurke signed by the World Snooker stars and artist Pete McKee's creation for the Bears of Sheffield. Picture Tony Johnson

“Hearing that work has started on the new Cancer and Leukaemia Ward fills me with joy. Sheffield Children’s Hospital saved my life and the ward was where the unbelievable care I received took place,” says Andrew, now 22.

“Knowing that children in the future will be treated in facilities that match the high quality of care they receive is heart-warming. Knowing that the money we raised will play a part in that makes the whole process all the more special.

“The new facilities will give children a whole new outlook on visiting the hospital. Not only will children be comforted by seeing the lovely staff who are helping them, but they will soon be in a calming, brighter environment that will put them at ease as they are being treated.”

As a small token of appreciation for his years of incredible support, The Children’s Hospital Charity will be recognising Andrew’s work with a plaque on the new ward.

The bear trail runs until September 29 and can be seen across the city of Sheffield.

To take on a fundraising challenge and support the Cancer and Leukaemia Ward this summer, visit www.bearsofsheffield.comSupport The Yorkshire Post and become a subscriber today. Your subscription will help us to continue to bring quality news to the people of Yorkshire. In return, you'll see fewer ads on site, get free access to our app and receive exclusive members-only offers. Click here to subscribe.