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Keep up-to-date with all the news from Chestnut Tree House. Here you’ll find updates on everything from our new fundraising events, news on our amazing volunteers and news about the hospice.
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The Santa Night iDrop, organised by Chestnut Tree House children’s hospice will see 40 adrenaline seekers descend Brighton’s landmark on Saturday 28 November 2020, whilst raising vital funds for local children and their families across Sussex.
“We are thrilled to bring you an abseil like no other” says Gill Stapley at Chestnut Tree House. “We’ve been working together with the i360 to ensure that the event is COVID-19 safe, so you can take the leap of faith whilst knowing that your safety is our top priority.”
“It’s been a difficult year for everyone, and the Santa Night iDrop is your chance to have some fun, spread some festive cheer and help to raise funds for local families, like Steve’s.”
Steve Cobbett took part in the Santa Night iDrop in 2018, in memory of his daughter, Essie, who flew away to be a shooting star on 13 August 2017, forever aged 18 months.
“I’m scared of heights, so the iDrop was a big challenge for me,” says Steve. “But Chestnut Tree House supported my family and I, and helped us navigate our short journey with Essie, so I wanted to give something back and push myself outside my comfort zone. Essie gives me strength and her legacy is to never give up and to fight every single day. I did the iDrop for her.”
Essie was born prematurely on 1 February 2016, along with her brother Roman and sister Eva. The day the triplets were born, Steve and his wife, Lorna, found out that Essie was very poorly. She had suffered a grade four lung haemorrhage and needed to be transferred up to St George’s Hospital in London. The same day that Essie was born, her parents were told to prepare to say goodbye.
Essie fought hard through her first 48 hours of life. When everyone expected her not to survive, she did. But when Essie was 11-days old, Lorna and Steve were then told the devastating news that Essie had suffered a catastrophic brain injury from twin to twin transfusion at birth. This rare, life-shortening diagnosis meant that Essie would probably have no sight, no hearing, no mobility, no communication.
Roman and Eva went home from hospital at four weeks old and Essie got transferred to a local hospital where she started to stabilise. On 19 April 2016, Essie finally came home from hospital aged 11 weeks and got to spend time with her triplet brother and sister.
At 13-weeks old the family started to receive care from Chestnut Tree House, where the family made precious memories together that will last them a lifetime.
On 13 August 2017, at just 18 months old, Essie flew away to be a shooting star, and Lorna and Steve said goodbye to her after spending a week at Chestnut Tree House in the Stars bereavement suite.
“Essie is a fighter and motivates and inspires me to do a lot,” explains Steve. “The iDrop was very special for me. I was alone, in the middle of the air, just me and my daughter. I spoke to her the whole way down; she was with me in the stars. Although I was suspended 530ft in the air, it felt like I was floating with her, it was just magical.
“If you’re thinking about signing up to do the iDrop, please do it. It is an amazing experience and you’ll be raising funds for such an important cause.”
It costs just £45 to register (minimum age 14), with a minimum sponsorship of £285. But hurry, there are only 40 places available. It’s first come, first serve and registration closes on Friday 20 November.
For the chance to be one of a limited number of people abseiling down the i360, sign up here.