Arlo was diagnosed with juvenile myelomonocytic leukaemia (JMML) in April 2020, a rare blood cancer. In February 2021, Arlo passed away, he was 2 years old.
Photo: Arlo & ‘Ducky’
Arlo received a Chemo Duck via the Play Service in Leeds Children’s Hospital and named him ‘Ducky’, he went everywhere with him. With the support of Jodie and Paul’s family and friends “Arlo’s Army” have so far raised over £10k for The Give A Duck Foundation, funding 400 Chemo Ducks for children diagnosed with cancer here in Yorkshire.
As the first anniversary of Arlo’s passing approaches, Jodie and Paul arranged a special socially distanced delivery to Leeds Children’s Hospital with The Give A Duck Foundation to donate the first batch of Chemo Ducks.
“Arlo is an inspiration to us all. The bravery he showed throughout the whole of his treatment, always with that cheeky smile & belly chuckle laugh. He made us proud everyday & continues to do so, through all that knew & love him. We will do all we can to keep his memory alive, to honour him & continue his legacy on. None of this would be possible if it weren’t for everyone donating & getting involved in the fundraising events. We can’t thank everyone enough. We’re so overwhelmed with everyone’s continued support, love & generosity!!” Jodie & Paul Brown
Chemo Ducks are a soft cuddly toy duck fitted with a central line to reflect those of the child and are used by Play Specialists to prepare them for the challenging treatments that lie ahead. The Play Service on Ward L31 at Leeds Children’s Hospital are long standing advocates of Chemo Duck and have even created a “Chemo Duck Clinic” in the ward play room for the children to enjoy and learn through play.
Photo: Paul & Jodie Brown
Natalie Bulmer, senior health care play specialist at Leeds Children’s Hospital said:
“When a child is diagnosed with cancer, the child can sometimes feel isolated. Chemo Duck brings them a friend, someone they can identify with and help to give a child their voice back (even if they are shy). Children use the duck through role play to explain to friends/family about their central line, explaining what happens when they come to hospital and how they feel. Chemo Duck is a vital tool within the Play Service , as it enables us to explain and prepare the children for their central line insertion. By using the duck we are able to make a daunting procedure into something fun, through engaging the child with the duck the Play Service can help give the child a voice to act out any fears or concerns they may have.
We will involve medical equipment such as syringes, blood bottles, pressure cuffs etc to help normalise the medical equipment the nursing staff will use, once again relieving any anxieties. By encouraging the wider team to use Chemo Duck when doing procedures with the child, this helps reduce long term anxiety effects. We love Chemo Duck and to be without him would make our role much harder.”
The Give A Duck Foundation donate Chemo Ducks to 32 UK hospitals including 17 Principal Treatment Centres to support families, affected by childhood cancer. Since 2019, the charity has donated 332 Chemo Ducks to Leeds Children’s Hospital, the first Principal Treatment Centre supported by the charity.
Photo: Laura Whelan, deputy head of nursing at Leeds Children’s Hospital, Chemo Duck, Natalie Bulmer, senior health care play specialist, with Jodie and Paul Brown.
Eve Corry, charity development director at The Give A Duck Foundation said:
“We are proud to have supported Arlo with his Chemo Duck ‘Ducky’ and are so very grateful to Jodie and Paul for their incredible support in raising money for the charity in memory of Arlo. We are determined to continue on our mission to provide a Chemo Duck for every child diagnosed with cancer in the UK. The ducks are a very special companion for children facing this devastating disease.”