Rye St Antony Join us in raising funds for Royal Brompton & Harefield Hospitals Charity in Memory of Rebecca Henderson.
Every five years, Rye St Antony selects a charity to support with one big fundraising challenge. This year each form will be organising a mini fundraiser and the whole school will take part in 15km sponsored walk at the end of the Trinity Term. We wanted to invite you to join us in 2019, as part of our whole school community and help raise important funds for such a worthwhile charity. As well as the fantastic work that Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals carry out, Rye has very personal reasons for selecting them as the beneficiary of our fundraising challenge this year.
Rebecca Henderson studied for her A-Levels at Rye and after finishing school went on to St Anne’s College, Oxford to read English and French. In 2017 as she embarked on her Masters in Medieval Studies, Becca fell ill and was diagnosed with an extremely rare cancer of the heart. Doctors at Harefield Hospital concluded that the only way to save Becca’s life was to remove her heart and replace it with a totally artificial heart (TAH), made of biocompatible plastic which acted as a pump.
Becca was discharged from hospital in April 2018, the 19th person in the UK to get a TAH, and only the second of those to leave hospital. Becca returned to university in October to continue her MSt, and was accepted for a PhD place for this September. As Becca had been cancer-free for a year she was placed on the transplant list in January and eagerly awaited the chance of a donor heart. Her aspirations and zest for life were never diminished by her situation, striving against the odds to beat her cancer and return to a normal life with a donor heart.
Tragically for Becca, complications following her transplant surgery in February meant the operation was unsuccessful and she died. The thought of the transplant was the spark of hope that kept her going through the dark days and kept her dreams and aspirations for the future on track. Becca joined us at our alumni event last summer with her TAH and everyone who met her was inspired by her optimism for the future.
Becca knew we were fundraising for this very special Charity; she had hoped to campaign with us and felt privileged that we had chosen this charity challenge in recognition of her determination and bravery. Devastatingly, our endeavour is now in her memory, and we are doubly determined to keep that spark of hope bright for another person on the transplant list. Rye St Antony