James & the giant please... Roald Dahl widow backs our appeal; EXCLUSIVE.
Byline: MARTYN HALLE AND DAN WARBURTON
THE widow of children's author Roald Dahl has thrown her weight behind the Sunday Mirror's Rare Diseases Centre appeal.
Felicity Dahl, 77, was moved to tears when she visited the children's hospital seeking to establish the centre.
Her father Alphonsus d'Abreu was a pioneering heart surgeon at Birmingham Children's Hospital until his death in the 1970s.
Felicity heads a charity that helps sick youngsters and hopes our appeal can further boost the fantastic work in Birmingham.
She said: "Daddy often brought me into hospital and would leave me to play with the nurses. Sometimes he would forget me, go home and have to come back!"
Author Roald, famed for classics like James and the Giant Peach and Matilda, died in 1990 aged 74. Felicity set up Roald Dahl's Marvellous Children's Charity, which provides 53 children's nurses at hospitals nationwide. Two are in Birmingham and a third is lined up - with all three dedicating their services to the new centre.
Five per cent of the money from Roald Dahl's books and films go to the family charity.
Sales are set to rise this year as what would have been Dahl's 100th birthday is marked- giving a timely boost to the bid to set up the Rare Diseases Centre.
Felicity, said: "Roald would very much have approved. He was very proud I had a father who made sick children better.
"Dad would be pleased I'm back in Birmingham where he spent so many happy years working in the children's hospital. The Rare Diseases Centre is desperately needed. These kids have had to go here there and everywhere for help. Bringing it all under one roof will make life so much easier."
YOU can help Birmingham Children's Hospital Charity's PS3.65million Star Appeal for the UK's first Rare Diseases Centre.
The centre will offer diagnosis, co-ordinated care, research, treatment and, importantly, hope.
Get more info on the Star Appeal at bch.org.uk/ StarAppeal or text STAR to 70800 to donate PS5 (network rates apply).
DAHL-ING DAD Felicity with pic of her surgeon father Alphonsus d'Abreu
MARVELLOUS MEDICINE Felicity during charity visit to Brum hospital