Margot was at Great Ormond Street Hospital for several months and we know how hard life can be when caring for a sick child. A 2016 study highlighted the destructive financial impact by reporting that a third of cancer survivors are left in debt due to their treatment, inability to work or other factors and 3% are bankrupted by their illness.
We set out below the grant giving by Team Margot Foundation since establishing the charity in January 2015. The graphs have been rebased following the trustees decision to report calendar year accounting periods, from 1 January to 31 December each year.
You’ll see below that funds have primarily been granted to families caring for child cancer patients. These one-off grants per family are made on a “no strings attached” basis and are for the family to use in any way they wish. This idea originated from my wife, Vicki after we saw first hand & met families during the time we were at Great Ormond Street Hospital with Margot, who were struggling to make ends meet, all the while caring for their sick child.
Over the last few years, these grants have come to be referred to as “Emergency Grants” by the hospitals we work with, because once the patient and family verification process is complete & the recipient’s bank details have been received, the monies are typically received within 24 hours.
The trustees of Team Margot Foundation are pleased to be making these one-off grants in the belief that they help in some small way.
We have been expanding our network of hospitals and in 2019, we will be making grants working with the following nine hospitals:
In 2015, our first year there was a total of £8,100 granted by Team Margot Foundation, £5,100 to Moment-um.org a local charity based in Kingston, to launch their family counselling services, with the remaining £3,000 being granted to three families.
In 2016, we saw the charity make 35 one-off grants of £1,000 to families caring for child cancer patients. At the time, these families were mainly based within the haematology wards at Great Ormond Street Hospital, and Momentum became a trusted referral partner.
Bianca Effemey, founder and CEO of Momentum wrote to us at the time:
“I can’t even put into words what a wonderful gift Team Margot Foundation is to the families. At first I was not sure how this could be offered or how families would react. I want you to know that I see some of the stress instantly ease from these poor families faces as so often the money is such an issue and one does not like to talk about that as they feel it is wrong to express that on top of everything else that’s happening. You have helped so many people from this and it’s so private. Thank you. You donated funds to a couple of families who have since lost their child; they spoke to me and said it made such a difference and just relieved some of the pressure.”
This is feedback from Barbara Inglin, a CLIC Sargent social worker based at Great Ormond Street Hospital (there’s also a short video from Great Ormond Street Hospital below):
“The support Team Margot provides is just brilliant because it is sensitive to the fact that when a child is seriously ill, families can have so many different needs and it can be difficult for them to identify the ‘priority’ need; the grants you give provide them with some much needed flexibility and choice! Thank you!”
In addition, we made two further grants in 2016:
Firstly, £5,000 towards a leukaemia research project run by UCL in collaboration with Great Ormond Street Children’s Charity. This follows a £60,000 Team Margot donation in 2014, prior to the formation of Team Margot Foundation.
In infant leukaemia, 50% of babies will die in spite of very aggressive chemotherapy. Excitingly, the team has discovered a potential new targeted treatment. Research has shown that around 8 in 10 cases of infant acute lymphoblastic leukaemias (ALL) are driven by MLL (mixed lineage leukaemia) fusion proteins, which is produced inside the cancer cell. Guided by this understanding, Dr Jasper de Boer and his team has found that one drug in particular was extremely effective at destroying MLL fusion proteins in leukaemia cells in the lab and, crucially, halted their growth, killing the leaukaemic stem cells. These are the cells from which the leukaemia grows and are resistant to conventional chemotherapeutic drugs.
Dr de Boer’s current priority is optimising the drug formulation, before being able to commence a clinical trial in humans, however, there is already good evidence that this drug is safe to use in humans, as it has been on the market for many years. We will continue to track progress and update.
Secondly, a donation of £10,000 was made to Shooting Star Chase, the leading children’s hospice charity that provided a place for Margot’s body to rest, prior to her funeral.
And in 2016, Momentum reported that our initial grant of £5,100 helped eight families receive psychological services. Of the eight families:
Two families are dealing with the sudden death of a child
One family is dealing with bereavement following an illness
Five families have a child with a very challenging health diagnosis: such as relapse of a previous condition, a very poor diagnosis or introduction of palliative care to their child.
In 2017 we saw the deployment of these one-off £1,000 grants increase massively. £87,000 was granted to families caring for child cancer patients as we grew our hospital network and word got around that these funds were readily available.
The trustees had to take the difficult decision to close grant making in the third quarter of that year and we implemented a new grant policy to safeguard against having to disappoint grant applicants in future.
This new policy altered the way in which the charity makes grants, specifically by relying upon the hospital networks of trusted referrals and making allocations to them at the start of each year.
In 2018, a further £31,000 was granted to an additional 31 families and the trustees also made the decision to grant a further £2,000 to support a collective of sickle cell patients who actively recruit blood donors from the Black, Asian, Mixed Race and Minority Ethnic (BAME) communities. Specifically, there is a need for an additional 40,000 black blood donors, because they are most likely to carry the much needed RO subtype of blood which sickle cell patients need to remain clinically well.
Since inception, Team Margot Foundation has made granted over £175,000 in total, which is in addition to the £275,000+ raised by Team Margot, before the charity was formed.
The grants & donations made by Team Margot Foundation are only possible because of you and your generosity. On behalf of everyone involved at Team Margot and in particular the grant recipients, thank you.
Team Margot Foundation has no employees nor paid advisers and accordingly there are no salaries, nor expenses paid by the charity. The trustees are unpaid, as are all the many other wonderful Team Margot volunteers and supporters around the world. Everyone at Team Margot strives to make a difference to the extent to which they are able – we want to help save the lives of all those people who, just like Margot and our family, never thought they’d need a bone marrow transplant.