A minute's silence will be observed in Wales today on the 50th anniversary of the Aberfan disaster.
"Loom Band Lifeline" For Cancer Patients
Most people think loom bands are just a bit of a craze at the moment, but specialists at a cancer centre are telling HEART they could really help young sufferers.
Staff at Clatterbridge Cancer Centre in Wirral have spent two months making a “loom band lifeline”.
The 65 foot rope is long enough so that a child can hold one end, while a parent – who has to be in a separate room – can hold the other.
An 8-year-old girl from Llanfairfechan has become the first to try it out.
Lowri Roberts has Wilms Disease and had to visit the centre for 15 rounds of radiotherapy.
Her dad Wayne says it’s hard to leave her on her own when she’s having the treatment:
“It’s very distressing for a child to go through a cancer treatment as it is”
“You can see them, but they can’t see you. So the purpose of this loom band is to put the child at ease”.
Paediatric specialist Sarah Stead is the woman behind the idea; she says she had a “lightbulb moment” when her goddaughter was showing her how to make a loom band bracelet.
Speaking to Heart Sarah said undergoing this kind of treatment at such a young age can be really frightening:
“The child’s alone in a really large room with a huge machine above their head, lying flat on their back with no mum or dad there”
“It’s a massive thing for them to go through – and also very difficult for parents”.
Heart’s being told staff at the centre will be making more to help children like Lowri – and their mums and dads.
Tragedy struck in the village of Aberfan 50 years ago - here's how the disaster unfolded.
Even with the coal tips removed, the landscape of Aberfan still lives in the shadow of tragedy.
50 years after the Aberfan disaster these photos remain some of the most haunting and iconic images.
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