Nige and Su Crutchley share their story on how CLIC Sargent supported their family when their youngest son Ben was diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour.
Sally and Ally are CLIC Sargent Nurses, and they provided so much more than just medical advice. They guided us through how we told Ben’s older brother Luke about what was happening, explained to us about the effects of Radio and Chemotherapy, helped us to navigate the never ending NHS maze and supported us through some of the darkest hours anyone can imagine. But most importantly of all they were there for Ben. It was thanks to Sally and Ally, our CLIC Sargent nurses, that Ben was able to have blood tests and much of his treatment at home rather than in hospital. It was also thanks to Sally and Ally that Ben understood and wasn’t scared of any of the treatment that he was given, they were always honest, but they always cared about and intuitively knew how precious and desperately ill our little boy was.
With their help, Ben remained at home until he passed away peacefully in our arms on 23rd February 2012, surrounded by those who loved him most. Together, we'd made sure that Ben didn’t have to cope with any scary machines or have people around him that he didn’t know. And they cared deeply about us as a family, they were always quietly there for each of us when we needed them the most, intuitively understanding what we were going through and making sure that we were prepared for what we had to face. They are still there for us now, over 2 years since we lost Ben, just making sure that we are doing OK and helping us with each stage of what, at times feels like a never ending wave of grief.
Lots of children do recover from cancer but some, like Ben, don’t.
It is for this reason that we started to raise money for CLIC Sargent in memory of Ben. We have set up the Benny Boy Crutchley Fund and have raised money through running half marathons and marathons, climbing Kilimanjaro, cycling from Paris to London (4days) and London to Bath in a day, golf days and loads more.
We started off saying we'd like to raise £50,000. So far we have raised over £345,000!. We have now reset our goal to £1 million!