Blue Skye Thinking
307. Sally Hall
308. Andy Hall
A family from Oxfordshire, whose tireless efforts in memory of their son have raised £200,000 to fund research into improvements in the treatment of childhood cancers.
While he was undergoing treatment for side effects of his treatment for an aggressive brain tumour, five year old Skye Hall was inspired by games played by the nurses, to see how many loom bands it would take to ‘ping’ to the moon. From that he decided to try and set a world record and ‘Loom to the Moon’ Skye inspired hundreds of people from all around the country to make sections of loom band and make a donation when they sent them in.
When Skye passed away in August last year his parents Sally and Andy decided to continue his world record attempt and fundraising in his memory. Thousands of people across the world from school children to celebrities such as entrepreneur Richard Branson, presenter Stephen Mulhern and actress Sarah Parrish took part, and the chain was confirmed as a world record-breaking 12.5 km long on 24 July. They set up Blue Skye Thinking and have raised more than £200,000, enough to fund a four-year PhD research project into new ways to treat childhood tumours at the Northern Institute for Cancer Research.
Their current fundraising and awareness effort – 2Skye4Skye – saw Andrew and a team of intrepid individuals travel from Blenheim Palace in Oxfordshire to the highest point on the Isle of Skye in Scotland. The 636 mile journey combined cycling, kayaking and hill walking. It is at this highest point that Andrew was presented with the Point of Light Award today (Wednesday).
Prime Minister David Cameron said:
“Skye was a wonderful young boy who inspired hundreds of people to join in his challenge to ‘loom to the moon’. Sally and Andy have shown incredible strength in continuing Skye’s work following his death. They have raised a huge amount of money to fund research to help other children with brain tumours. To those children and their families they truly are Points of Light.”
Sally and Andrew said:
“Skye was not our child to keep but he was our child to share and winning this award has enabled us to do that, for which we are eternally grateful. We are very honoured to have been awarded the Prime Minister’s Points of Light Award, and we are pleased by the opportunity to highlight the fact that while brain tumours in children and teenagers remain the number one cancer killer and worldwide cure rates have not improved for 40 years, there is still such a long way to go. Winning this award will further bring to the public eye how much more we intend to do as the next research post we would like to fund is for children with relapsed brain tumours. We can only achieve this with everyone’s support.”
Local MP Nicola Blackwood said:
“Those of us who never met Skye sometimes find it hard to imagine where Sally, Andrew and Jesse have found the strength for the life saving work of Blue Skye Thinking since his tragic death. When I mentioned this to Sally and Andrew though they gently reminded me of Skye’s indomitable sense of humour and determination, throughout his life, to make a difference. Now they are determined to do justice to his legacy – I’d say they are more than succeeding. This Points of Light Award simply reinforces what so many parents of children with cancer already know: Blue Skye Thinking is playing an essential role in improving the chances of children diagnosed with brain tumours. I cannot imagine more deserving winners than Sally and Andrew, and Jesse.”