Trust fund’s Sunderland children’s hospice toilets

The family of deceased cancer sufferer Graeme 'Hazey' Kerton handed over funds to the Garce House Hospice outside their new buiding in Southwick, Sunderland on Monday. Pictured l-r front are Mel White (sister), Sarah and Paul Riddell and standing is Michelle Keeler of Grace House.
The family of deceased cancer sufferer Graeme 'Hazey' Kerton handed over funds to the Garce House Hospice outside their new buiding in Southwick, Sunderland on Monday. Pictured l-r front are Mel White (sister), Sarah and Paul Riddell and standing is Michelle Keeler of Grace House.
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CHARITY fund-raisers have ploughed their “loos” change into a very worthy cause.

Dedicated Sunderland fan Graeme “Hazey” Kerton chronicled his six-month battle with cancer in an online diary until his death in January 2008.

The Hazey’s Heroes Memorial Trust Fund was set up in 2009 and aims to support good causes which would have been close to Graeme’s heart.

The Grace House Children’s Hospice is the latest beneficiary, with the fund handing over a £1,200 donation towards the cost of equipping rooms with en suite toilets.

Hazey’s sister Mel White said she and friends Sarah and Paul Riddell had been talking to Grace House’s Michelle Keeler about how they could help and had hit upon a particularly-appropriate idea.

“One of the things Michelle said was that everybody wants to fund-raise for the gardens, for the toys, for the touchy-feely stuff.

“She made an off-the-cuff remark that nobody wanted to fund-raise for the toilets.”

Toilets, it happens, were a subject close to Hazey’s heart.

“Graeme had Crohn’s disease, which is an inflammation of the bowel,” said Mel.

“He had a great sense of humour and would write on his blog about being caught short somewhere he could not get to the loo.”

Graham also wrote movingly on his blog about seeing young cancer patients. “They should be in the garden, playing with toys in the mud, not in these places,” he wrote.

“It all felt like a hammer blow.”

Mel was in no doubt her brother would have been delighted with the latest donation in his name.

“This just seemed like something Graeme would have wanted us to give money towards, because it’s the little comforts that are the most important things,” she said.

Each year a group of friends take part in the Coast to Coast cycle ride to raise money for the trust fund and Paul Riddell has devoted his year to bringing in more cash with a series of sponsored events.

“The £1,200 came from Paul doing the Coast to Coast and he also has a couple of 5K runs coming up,” said Mel.

Anyone wishing to donate can sponsor Paul by visiting www.justgiving.com/onehugeyear.