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Tayen picked to open Christmas Tree farm

14 November 2018 chsw Events, Fundraising

Seven year old Tayen, from Bridgwater, has a genetic condition known as Neurofibromatosis Type 1. The condition is incurable, and causes tumours to grow on nerves anywhere in her body. She has epilepsy and hydrocephalus, is completely blind, and has already endured several rounds of chemotherapy. She and her family visit Charlton Farm for respite breaks, and her mum Kali told us what the hospice means to Tayen: “She loves everyone there, she gets so excited. We stay there as a family, although when we’re there, Tayen doesn’t want me or her dad or her brothers near her. She sees it as her time, her play time!”

In November, Tayen was officially invited to open the Christmas shop at Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm in Somerset. Langford Lakes have chosen to support CHSW as their Charity of the Year, and owner Reg Hendy said: “We were so pleased that Tayen could help us open our Christmas tree farm and shop for the festive season. She was our VIP for the morning and even got to meet Father Christmas and enjoy our snow machine. We also gave Tayen an early Christmas gift as a thank you, and we are inviting the Gilbert family back to choose one of our British grown Christmas trees free of charge.”

Kali Gilbert, Tayen’s mum, explained what the event meant to the family: “We’re thrilled that Tayen was selected to officially open Langford Lake’s Christmas shop and Christmas tree farm. She was very excited. As a family we love Christmas, and this was a treat for all of us.

“I decided to nominate Tayen as she’s a little star. Tayen has a complex medical history and her genetic condition causes tumours to grow along nerves anywhere in the body. She was diagnosed at 22-months-old with bilateral optic pathway gliomas (tumours) that have spread through her brain to the back. She started chemotherapy straight away but unfortunately lost all vision just six weeks into treatment.

“Following this Tayen needed bilateral shunts to drain fluid on her brain. She also has complex epilepsy and is currently now on her third round of chemotherapy treatment. None of this stops her though. Tayen is a powerhouse of fun and energy and captures the hearts of everyone she meets.”

Langford Lakes Christmas Tree Farm are hoping to collect as much money as possible for CHSW from the sale of mince pies and teas and coffees, aided by volunteers for the charity. The refreshments will be on offer from the launch event through to the last day of trading before Christmas on December 23. Last year they managed to raise an amazing £2,955 for the CHSW.

Kali added: “CHSW has been a great lifeline of support and respite for my whole family. It is a fantastic charity and we’re delighted to hear that Langford Lakes will be fundraising for it again this year.”

CHSW is currently the only provider of specialist hospice care for children in the region. It offers much needed support for youngsters with a life-limiting or life-threatening condition and their families at its three hospices: Charlton Farm in North Somerset, Little Bridge House in North Devon and Little Harbour in Cornwall.

We’d like to thank Langford Lakes for their continued support for CHSW and Charlton Farm, and wish them a happy and successful festive season!