Children With Cancer Fund
Children With Cancer Fund
Children With Cancer Fund (Polegate)
5 Western Avenue, Polegate, East Sussex, BN26 6EP Tel: 01323 488561 Registered Charity No.1110644

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In Memory of Emily


Emily passed away peacefully in her sleep on 27th October 2004.

Emily was given the star treatment when she decided her wish was to have a birthday party at Drusillas Zoo.  Not only did she get to brush the goats but she fed the penguins, had a meerkat named after her and had a party with her friends and family, including a bear cake made for us by Humphries Family Catering.

After her big day Emily wrote us this lovely letter:

Dear Chris and Ursula

Thank you so much for organising such a fantastic birthday party at Drusillas Zoo for me on Sunday.  I had a lovely time, it was also very nice to meet you at the penguin pool.

The party started at 10.45 am, when I had agreed to meet all my friends outside the entrance.  As usual one or two people were late for various different reasons that couldn't be helped, we had allowed for that so there was still enough time to make our way through the zoo for the penguin feeding at 11.30.

My Dad and sister, Lucy, pushed me in my wheelchair to the back of the enclosure where we met the keepers that I would help to feed the penguins.  We struggled a little getting my chair up three very steep steps but made it out in to the enclosure.  I put a plastic glove on my good hand to stop the smell of fish staying with me all day, Lucy put the other glove on so that she could help me. We then stuck our hands into a bucket of fish and started to throw them into the water.  The penguins knew it was getting near to breakfast time as they had been swimming around in the water getting excited for some time.

 They got even more excited when the fish were splashing into the water around them.  I think they all got their fair share, it did make my hand ache a bit throwing so many fish.  I especially liked the Rock Hopper Penguins even if they did look a bit scruffy because they had started to moult.  Dad says they look a bit like men coming home from a posh party a little worse for wear! (whatever that means!)

Emily and the penguins

After this we went for a walk around the zoo to look at the animals.  At Pet World we went into a paddock where we got the chance to brush some goats.  I think they were a bit scared of my wheelchair, as they kept running away when I went near them.  I eventually got to brush a little brown goat that was lying down trying to sleep.

Emily and the goat

The next time we stopped was at the Meerkats, where I found the plaque that said Emily Meerkat was adopted by me.  I hope that my one is a little baby that we saw, who was learning how to dig in the earth.  I enjoyed watching an adult that sat on top of a tall wooden pole keeping a look out for danger.

We then decided to have a drink and a snack at the café before continuing around the zoo.  I think that some of my friends wanted to go on the adventure playground but I decided we look at some more animals. I didn't really like the bat house as there were all these bats hanging upside down from trees very close to my head, I think Mum was more scared than me as she didn't even come into this house.


My friends and I liked the talking parrot, you say something to a plastic cockatoo and it repeats what you have said.  Nearby was the real parrot enclosure which looks like a jungle and had lots of different brightly coloured parrots coming in and out of their sleeping area.  They especially came out when it started to rain hard, I suppose that this is a bit like the weather they would have in the wild (but a bit warmer!).  Luckily there was some shelter close by so we were able to keep out of the rain and watch the Emus and Wallabys jumping about.  Dad took some photos here so I can send them to my friend Rolf Harris, the Australian entertainer as he had sent me a very nice birthday card and some presents.


When the rain stopped we made our way back to the Explorer's café for my tea party.  The table was laid out for all of us and at the far end was a ‘Throne’ for me with a picture of a Rock Hopper penguin with a crown on as the back of the chair with the words Happy Birthday.  There was plenty of food, crisps, sausages, pizza as well as tuna, jam and marmite rolls, we had lemonade and ribena to drink.  We all got stuck in after which my sister Lucy had organised a pass the parcel, using the new CD Rolf Harris sent me with some of his music on.  Everyone won either a bag of chocolate buttons or a Mickey Mouse lolly that we bought at Disneyland last week.

This was followed by ice cream with plenty of sauce and toppings on: And then the best bit the cake came out, it was a lovely chocolate cake (my favourite!) shaped like a Teddy Bear (my favourites!!).

Everyone at the party sang Happy Birthday very loudly.  By this time we were all full up so the cake was cut up and everyone took a piece home in their party bags.

Whilst we were having the party several of my friends had rides on a mechanical animal, Grandad says it was an old television character called Muffin the Mule, I think that was even before my Dads time!

Finally we had a look in the gift shop.  One of my friends bought me as a birthday present a cuddly toy Meerkat which I have also called Emily.  Then it was time to go home, it had been a long, tiring but very enjoyable day.  All of my friends took turns at pushing me in my wheelchair around the zoo which I really liked.

The cake was really lovely but there was too much left over for me and my family to eat so I have sent the rest into school so that all of my class can have a piece each as they all sent me a nice get well card last week.

Anyway thank you once again for such a brilliant day.



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