A kind-hearted business owner has raised over £10,000 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity by donating a portion of sales from his family’s memorial jewellery company, Footprints and Whispers, to support young patients. 

Brian Thorogood, from Bedfordshire, wanted to find a way to give back to the hospital that saved his grandson, Ernie’s life and thought donating a percentage of profits from the sale of his jewellery to the charity would help the hospital carry on with the lifesaving work it carries out. 

Ernie, 17, was tragically diagnosed with bilateral Retinoblastoma - an aggressive form of cancer that targets the eyes - at just two months old. During this trying time, Ernie endured over 100 hospital visits, evasive surgeries and weeks of chemotherapy. Almost 17 years later, Ernie is healthy and cancer free, just done very well in GCSE’s and enjoying life the way all 17-year-olds should.  

In order to express their gratitude, Ernie’s family initially decided to ask for donations to Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity in lieu of gifts for special occasions, such as birthdays and Mother’s Day. This then snowballed into Brian forming the initiative Love2Donate for his jewellery company 

Footprints and Whispers focuses on custom, memorial jewellery to help capture the memory of those loved and lost. A special range of the products benefit the hospital, with a percentage of sales donated. To date, this has so far totalled a phenomenal £10,000. 

Brian said: “The hospital supported Ernie and my family through some of the darkest times we will ever face and provided world class care which saved Ernie’s life. We simply had to find a way to give back and donating some of our profits, mean we can help the hospital’s mission to provide support and care to families like ours. I couldn’t be prouder to support them now and in the future.” 

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital, said: “Brian endured the difficulty of having a family member in hospital and understands how upsetting it can be. Brian then channelled his pain and gratitude into such a positive force via his Love2Donate initiative. We are so proud of Brian and so thankful for the support.”