Child Cancer documentary looking to speak to parents

My name is Miles and I'm a television documentary director who makes films for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. My previous work includes; a BBC documentary called 'A Special Kind of Mum', which followed two disabled parents as they took on the challenges they faced during early parenthood, both physically and in terms of public opinion; and a two-part documentary for ITV1 called ‘Trauma: Level One’, which followed emergency medical staff at the Southampton Major Trauma Center. I

’m currently filming a documentary about my seven-year-old nephew, Oskar, who’s in the middle of growing his hair to donate to charity to be made into a wig for a child who has lost their hair due to cancer treatment.

To give you some background about me, my mother died of cervical cancer when I was five years old, so my sister and I were raised by our dad, Stewart. As a family, we have had our ups and downs over the years, and this is partly due to the effect that cancer has had on us.

We have had direct experience of the devastation that cancer causes and my sister and I feel passionately about raising awareness and funds to eradicate this terrible disease for good! In 2013 I ran the London Marathon to raise money for a charity who support cervical cancer research, and in 2014 my sister took part in a triathlon to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

My sister and I are very open when talking about our mum, and Oskar has somewhat of an understanding of the disease. However, this is not the only reason he chose to grow his hair for charity. In late 2014 Oskar got seriously ill and had to spend some time in Hospital. He was very brave and thankfully made a full recovery. This experience gave him first-hand experience of what other sick children go through and so, coupled with his knowledge of his grandmother’s illness; he decided he wanted to help other children in some way.

In March this year Oskar announced, completely out of the blue, that he wanted to grow his hair for a year and then donate it to a charity to be made into a wig for a poorly child. This was completely his own idea, and when asked why he was doing it, he said it would be a nice thing to do because it's horrible being poorly and it would be even worse to lose your hair as well. This completely selfless and altruistic gesture provoked me to make a documentary about his journey over the course of twelve months.

We are now at the halfway stage, and Oskar is being very brave in the face of some challenges that a seven-year-old boy with shoulder length hair might come up against. He is determined to reach the 12 month stage so his hair is long enough to donate.

To complete the documentary I would like to speak to some parents of children who are currently going through cancer treatment, or even parents of children that have gone through treatment in the past. Please be assured that, at this stage, by speaking to me, you are in no way committing to taking part in the film. In the first instance I am just looking to speak to people about their experiences and anything we discuss will be treated with the strictest of confidence.

If you are willing to talk to me, please call me on 07880 707 016 or email me on blaydenryall@me.com . I look forward to hearing from you.

Best,

Miles Blayden-Ryall

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