A SALISBURY family, whose son was diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia, is backing a campaign to transform a former bed and breakfast into a new haven for families of children and young people with cancer

Charlie Claydon, five, was diagnosed with a acute myeloid leukaemia in March 2017 when he was three-years-old.

His dad, David said: “There was a huge queue at the ward, and I almost decided to skip the appointment in order to make it to Charlie’s eye appointment later that day. A family friend working as a consultant on the ward spotted us, saw Charlie wasn’t looking at all well, and took us through more quickly.

“From there it was a whirlwind as we were sent via ambulance to Southampton General for scans and tests for suspected leukaemia.”

Following the diagnosis he underwent intensive rounds of chemotherapy at Southampton General Hospital.

During this time, the family stayed in CLIC Sargent’s Home from Home called CLIC Haven near to Southampton Hospital where families can stay for free to be near their child.

“The team at CLIC Haven did everything they could to help us manage – they often did our laundry, and even pressed my uniform so I could leave on time for work meetings,” said David.

“I was able to carry on working during Charlie’s treatment by setting up a small office in CLIC Haven, thanks to the CLIC Sargent team’s support.”

David said:“With no Home from Home Service at Southampton, our family would have faced 45min journeys from Salisbury to Southampton, and even double that time in rush hour. We simply couldn’t have managed it all during Charlie’s treatment without a Home from Home near the hospital.”

CLIC Sargent, a cancer charity for children and young people, has launched a fundraising appeal to transform a former Southampton bed and breakfast into a new haven for young cancer patients and their families.

Jean’s House will provide free accommodation for young patients and their families during cancer treatment at Southampton Hospital.

Jean’s House will have seven en-suite family bedrooms (sleeping up to four people), two open plan kitchen/diners, two lounges and a teenagers’ space. It will replace the charity’s existing Home from Home at CLIC Haven.

The charity is fundraising to cover the £1.6million cost for buying and adapting the building.