A father from Stourton has rallied his colleagues at professional services firm EY, to raise over £20,000 for sick kids, after his daughter was treated for Neuroblastoma at Birmingham Children’s Hospital – a type of cancer in children that develops from immature nerve cells.

Stephen Wong faced the terrifying reality of his daughter, Lily, falling ill at just eight months old in May 2021. After discovering she had cancer, and that it had spread from the primary tumour site into her chest, lung, pancreas and liver, she underwent biopsy, followed by six months of chemotherapy to shrink the tumours and put the cancer into remission. Thankfully, it has been two years since Lily was first diagnosed and she is now a happy and active toddler, although is still regularly monitored by the hospital for any signs of relapse.

After Lily’s ordeal, and the incredible care she received, Stephen felt inspired to nominate Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity as the Charity of the Year for EY’s Birmingham office – Stephen’s workplace. His colleagues enthusiastically agreed and so Stephen got straight to work thinking of ways he could fundraise for the hospital that saved his daughter’s life.

EY took part in the charity’s annual Dragonboat Race, which takes place Canalside at the Mailbox and many of his colleagues took on their own challenges too, to add to the fundraising total, including the charity’s abseil off the Wesleyan building. The team even held a shoebox appeal to gift presents to the patients. Over the span of just ten months, Stephen and his colleagues have raised over £20,000, which includes match-funding from EY, and the team has even more planned!

Stephen says: “The fundraising has been wonderful, but also emotionally difficult when I think back to how ill Lily was. However, thinking of her and all the other children treated at the hospital gives me the drive to continue to raise as much money as possible to help the hospital continue to save lives, just like they did with Lily.

“The fact that my colleagues and employer have also been so supportive with the fundraising means the world to me and I can’t wait to add to the total.”

Helen Miles, Head of Corporate Partnerships at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “The money that Stephen and the team at EY have raised will have a huge impact on our hospital, whether that’s supporting patient experience, improving the hospital environment, or funding cutting edge equipment and research. We're so grateful to Stephen for championing our hospital and putting us forward for EY’s Charity of the Year partnership. Together, they will help us make a difference to the lives of our sick kids.”