We asked our friends
at Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity to share with Puffin blog readers
a bit about the charity that was set up in memory of Roald Dahl…
“Roald Dahl is famous
for his stories and rhymes that spark readers’ imaginations all over the world
today. Yet his amazing life was also personally
affected by tragedy – and these experiences meant he often went out of his way
to help seriously ill children and their families.
example, in 1960 his son Theo was hit by a taxicab in New York and his life
hung in the balance with hydrocephalus (“water on the brain”). This condition
is treated by a surgical medical device called a “shunt.” However, the shunts
that doctors were using at the time didn’t work very well and kept clogging.
This caused pain, blindness, and also meant emergency surgeries for Theo and
many other children. Roald was determined to find a way to fix this and his
creativity led to something marvellous indeed…
Roald Dahl contacted
his friend – a local expert toymaker who built intricate tiny engines for model
aircraft. He also approached a consultant neurologist. Together the three men
worked together, facilitated by Roald, and as a result invented a brand new
shunt – called the Wade-Dahl-Til valve in 1962. Fortunately, Theo didn’t end up
needing the shunt and made a great recovery. However, many thousands of
children with hydrocephalus have benefited from this invention!
Roald Dahl thought
nothing of making an individual recording of one of his stories to help with a
child’s recovery in hospital. He also helped to buy special wheelchairs that
struggling parents couldn’t afford to buy themselves. So when he passed away in
1991, his widow Felicity Dahl set up the charity to help this part of his
legacy live on – to make life better for seriously ill children and young
Today our top priority is helping those
seriously ill children and young people with the biggest needs and who aren’t
being supported by anyone else: those who are forgotten like Matilda, underdogs
like Charlie Bucket, or have no family like Sophie in The BFG.
Roald Dahl specialist children’s nurses, provide grants to families caring for
a seriously ill child and much more besides. We think that’s a marvellous thing
to do and we hope you do too!
Roald Dahl’s Marvellous Children’s Charity
Puffin speaking again – you really should follow them for they are quite utterly marvellous. We’ll be bringing you more details about Dahlicious Dress up Day (27th September) in the coming weeks, so whether you’re a teacher or a chiddler check back for more information soon.