Once upon a time...

Thank you so much, Ellie, for this beautiful, insightful piece. As I’m sure you will be able to tell, Ellie really knows her subject. She has a super brave brother.

Isla’s Supershoes…

One dark and gloomy December day, Isla, a little 4-year-old girl lay in a hospital bed miserably. Unlike most children, she was extremely ill with an illness called Cancer. Unfortunately, she’d had it since she was 2 and had spent most of her life lying in a hospital bed, surrounded by other sick children. Sadly, this was her life, and she knew no different.

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Most children don’t have Cancer, but some unlucky children like Isla do. Although she had a playroom and different activities she could do in hospital, she was never well enough to get up onto her feet, so she just lay in bed, whilst she was having something done to her, with her mum and dad by her side.

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Now, let me tell you about a wonderful charity called Supershoes. It is a charity for children who are told they have cancer. They provide special hand-painted trainers. So, with a Supershoes form in Isla’s mum and dad’s hands, they filled in what Isla would like on her shoes, what her name is and what her favourite things are. Isla wished for a picture of Minnie Mouse and the word “super” on one shoe and on the other, a picture of all the Frozen characters and her name in bright colours. Isla’s mum and dad sent the form off. They had to wait patiently for 4 weeks to receive Isla’s finished Supershoes. Meanwhile, the Super Artist was busy painting Isla’s shoes, and there were many volunteers busy working in the Supershoes office. Each one has a special job to do; like calling the parents or packaging the boxes. This excellent charity could put a smile on children’s faces (like Isla) which their parents wouldn’t have seen for a while.

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A few weeks, later, there was a knock on the hospital door whilst Isla was laying bored, fed up and missing home. It was Isla’s social worker. She came in and announced that she had her Supershoes hiding behind her back. To mum and dad’s surprise, Isla eagerly sat upright in her bed to see her Supershoes. She hadn’t done this or looked so happy in months.

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As soon as she placed the shoes on her feet, she felt well enough to get up and walk, which she had never done with so much ease before. She skipped and jumped her way to the playroom so show off her shoes to the nurses. Her parents followed her around, amazed at what a simple, yet beautiful, pair of shoes could do for their precious daughter. Isla continued her treatment in hospital, but now with a smile on her face, a spring in her step.

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Isla was due to be sent home from hospital for a break from treatment, just in time to spend Christmas at home. All she put on her Christmas list this year to Santa was for all the other sick children to receive Supershoes just like she had.

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