Siya Chudasama, a kind-hearted, five-year-old chocoholic from Leicester, took on a three-month chocolate ban to raise over £1,300 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where she has been a patient since birth. 

Siya was born with a condition called Microtia, where a baby’s outer ear does not form correctly while in the uterus, and often leads to partial deafness of the child in the affected ear. Siya attends appointments at the Audiology department in Birmingham Children’s Hospital every year, so doctors can monitor her hearing and development, and offer support where needed, such as weighing up the benefits of Siya being fitted with a cochlear implant. 

Her fundraising journey began when, one day, she was in the park with her dad, Kunal, and saw runners taking on the Leicester Half Marathon. She asked her dad what they were doing, and he explained that people run and take on challenges to  help raise money for charity and support those in need. Siya loved the idea of helping others and pleaded with her dad to allow her to sign up to run. Kunal told her she was sadly too young for the half marathon, but reassured her they could pick another challenge, more personal to her, to raise money. 

Knowing just how much Siya loves chocolate, Kunal suggested she try giving her favourite treat up for three months. It was a lengthy ban, but Siya took it in her stride. Despite friends offering her chocolate at school, attending numerous birthday parties and family events, Siya did not waver, and every time she thought she might, she thought of all the sick kids her fundraising would be helping.  

When the long three months came to an end, Siya celebrated with a pack of her favourite chocolate, Smarties, and sat back to reflect on the amazing amount she had raised - £1,300! Her incredible dedication had paid off and she even won a headteacher’s award at her school for her hard work. 

When asked about her fundraising, Siya said: “It was exciting to help others and I am so proud of myself for taking on the challenge, even though it was really tricky at times.” 

Her dad, Kunal, added: “We’re in awe of Siya. We know from experience what a wonderful place Birmingham Children’s Hospital is and just how many children it treats, and for Siya to want to do her part in giving back to the hospital is a proud moment.” 

Miranda Williams, Head of Public Fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity. Said: “It is amazing to see somebody so young want to make a difference to our hospital and our sick kids. To have the willpower at five-years-old to give up something she loves, all to raise money, is an inspiration to us all.”