(Kate) In celebration of Children’s Hospice Week, the Duchess of Cambridge virtually met with Stuart Delf and Carla Delf from Huntingdon in Cambridgeshire and learned of their late son Fraser’s battle with Coats plus syndrome, a rare condition characterized by an eye disorder that also causes abnormalities of the brain and other organs.
Joined by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall, Kate congratulated the family on their recent fundraiser in honor the 9-year-old, who passed away in January.
The Delf’s oldest son Stuie ran a sponsored 5k every day last month to raise over $20,000 for the EACH Hospice in Milton, Cambridge, where his younger brother was treated.
Remembering his brother, Stuie said, “Fraser wasn’t just my brother, he was my best friend.”
Upon hearing of the 13-year-old’s “amazing” charitable deed, the mom of three made a heartwarming promise to honor Fraser’s memory.
Stuart shared with BBC that “[Catherine] said she was going to plant a sunflower in memory of Fraser,” noting that the sunflower is an emblem of hospice care.
The duchesses also shared their past experiences working with children’s hospices organizations. Camila began by describing a visit she had made 13 years ago.
“I have to admit, I was filled with a certain amount of trepidation because I wasn’t sure what I was going to find,” she recalled. “But when I arrived, I was totally amazed by what I found; the feeling of warmth and laughter and happiness.”
Camila added, “Obviously the nurses and the carers who look after these children are the most wonderful people and they just sort of inspire happiness. It’s an uplifting experience.”
Kate chimed in, saying, “I’m a massive fan of the work that the staff do and the fact that, you know, families are able to live as close to their home environment as they possibility can in what is really difficult circumstances is extraordinary.
And it’s a credit to the staff really that can provide the environment to help them go through, whether it’s long-term care or short-term care, it’s really inspiring.”
Concluding the video call, Camilla praised hospice workers once more, adding, “We’d like to thank everybody who works for hospices across the U.K. for the incredible work you do. A lot of families treasure their moments together. I think that’s so important.”