In my time in the charity sector – both at Great Ormond Street Hospital Charity and here at Royal Brompton and Harefield Hospitals Charity – nothing has affected me more strongly than meeting and working with families dealing with the death of their child. I think it takes incredible reserves of strength and compassion to create something as constructive as a fundraising campaign when you are dealing with what to many of us would be our worst nightmare.

Ruben Dyer-Jones passed away in January of this year, just a few months into his life. He died due to dilated cardiomyopathy, which is very rare in infants but can have an absolutely devastating effect. We don’t yet know enough about the genetic origins of cardiomyopathy, but there’s a specialist team at Royal Brompton who are determined to find out more and try to make sure fewer families suffer the heartbreak that Ruben’s have been through.

Ruben’s parents – Charlotte and Patrick – have created Ruben’s Fund to raise money for this research project. They have set themselves an ambitious target and have made a great start. Please lend them your support if you can. We are also fundraising for a new genetic sequencer, which will enable more research into the genetic causes of heart disease.

When you support Royal Brompton and Harefield hospitals you don’t just create better facilities and build medical knowledge. You bring some light to patients and families at their darkest times.

Thank you for your support, now and always.