Grace Barley

Lincolnshire

My name's Grace Barley - I'm 17 and I live at home with my mum and my sister. Things haven't always been easy for us, but our family has made it through nonetheless by loving and supporting one another no matter what. A couple of years ago, my younger sister Mollie was diagnosed with a rare bone tumour, a diagnosis which none of us ever expected. However, she made it through and so did we and I vowed that we would learn something from her strength and determination and try and make something good come out of it.

Mollie was treated at the Birmingham Orthopaedic Hospital, a centre which accomodates for children with rare conditions from all over the world. When Mollie was treated, she was lucky enough to be allowed access to a wonderful room of laptops, pool tables and other gadgets which made both the children and the parents feel truly at home. Unfortunately, the room was only allowed to be accessed by over 13's, leaving any children under that age with nothing. Both my sister, my mum and myself thought that it was horrible that the youngest children, the ones which likely needed the most support and care had the fewest resources to make them feel comfortable. We understand what a daunting and unpredictable time it is during a hospital stay and, particularly when a small child is suffering, the idea of having nothing to make them feel at ease or at home can make the experience ten times worse for both parent and child.

For these reasons, I set up Mollie's Project, a charitable orgaisation which raises money for 'Project Playroom' at the BOH. 'Project Playroom' raises money in order to build a playroom for 0-12 year olds being treated at the hospital, and all of the money that we raise goes directly towards this cause. Mollie's Project has been active as of September 2012, and I hope that it will be active for many years to come.