The Playbarn Project was launched by Gary Johnson, Phil Graham & John Bolton after Gary and Leanne’s daughter Madison developed leukaemia.
Madison and many other young child fighting the disease have a really heart breaking time just surviving, let alone being a child. Their immune system is so weak as a result of treatment, due to the fact that chemotherapy not only kills bad cells but healthy cells too. This adds greater risk of the child catching infection. A common cold can be life threatening if the body cannot fight it off. Madison missed over 2 and a half years of school life and was not able to go to public places because of these risks. After visiting Old McDonald’s Farm in Brentwood, this gave Gary the idea of building a sterile playbarn, strictly for children with cancers and low immune systems.
Madison inspired the project through her zest for life and by her parents observing the effect of play was on her road to recovery.
Madison was treated at Great Ormond Street and Barnet Hospital, where although the medical aspect is very good , rehab and recovery can be improved by the introduction of play.
what happened next
In August 2014 The Playbarn Project funded the new playroom at Great Ormond Street Hospital where Madison spent lots of her time whilst on treatment. The room was opened by Madison and TV presenter Chris Jarvis. It was great seeing all of the children’s faces, enjoying the new space and new toys! Please take a look at the photos in our Gallery.
I must stress that no one receives any payments for any aspect of their help or work on behalf of the charity, reward for any charity helpers is the achievement of seeing the project to fruition.