A message from Karen’s Mum
Welcome to the Karen Morris Memorial Trust, the charity set up to continue the fundraising initiative of my sorely missed daughter who passed away in September 1998, just one year after being diagnosed with chronic myeloid leukaemia.
Since 1998 the KMMT has raised over £1,800,000. We have set up and fund four Karen’s Homes from Home: at Hammersmith Hospital in London, Churchill Hospital in Oxford, Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge and the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham. These homes provide private accommodation for 13 families on site at the UK’s leading leukaemia hospitals at any one time so families can be together through dark times. Each is a haven for patients’ families where they can relax in comfortable surroundings and a safe bolt hole for patients when they can escape the cabin fever of the isolation room, even if only for a few hours.
We also fund a number of complementary treatments for haematology patients which would not otherwise be available, but which are proven to alleviate the emotional, and thereby the physical pain of leukaemia patients and bring some comfort to their nearest and dearest.
With your help we can do even more. We regularly receive applications from leading haematology departments throughout the UK to create similar much valued facilities. We look forward to doing more to support more people when they need it most.
Chair, Karen Morris Memorial Trust
Having been lucky enough to have grown up with Karen, I'm one of many who saw first-hand how she fought her illness with bravery and determination. Most apparent was her desire to help others who were also battling leukaemia. While her loss is still felt by all of us who knew and loved her, her will and spirit live on through the vital work carried out by the Karen Morris Memorial Trust. I am proud to be a KMMT Patron.
Professor Charles Craddock
DPhil, MRCP, MRCPath
Inspired by Karen’s desire to provide a nurturing and supportive environment for the whole family whilst patients receive intensive therapy the work of the KMMT continues to transform the experience of blood cancer sufferers. The growing national network of Karen’s Homes from Home provides a caring and supportive environment for patients and their carers at this the most challenging of times. In doing so the KMMT allows increasing complex life-saving cancer therapies to be delivered with the full support of friends and family providing a model for 21st Century healthcare.
Nothing can ease the pain of losing my beautiful, clever, popular daughter. But being the Chair of the charity set up to continue her initiative really is a source of great comfort and strength. The amazing support we receive enables us to continue Karen’s legacy; it gives meaning to the big void in our lives and demonstrates that Karen lives on among her family, friends and for an ever increasing number of leukaemia patients and their families who have used services funded by the KMMT.
Debby Jepps (nee Morris)
It is truly an honour to be a trustee for the KMMT. It went without saying that when the charity was set up I wanted to be an integral part. Never did I believe how much money would be raised and how many projects we will fund. 16 years on and watching the charity grow from strength to strength I burst with pride with what has been achieved, reflecting what a truly amazing sister, daughter and friend Karen was. I hope she is looking down at all this flicking her glossy black hair and showing her killer smile.
Consultant at the law firm Howard Kennedy
I have the privilege of being a trustee of KMMT and of seeing the establishment of the concept of Karen’s Home from Home. It has been so rewarding to have seen each of the apartments converted into suitable accommodation and made available and welcoming for families.
Co-director of the International Centre for Evidence in Disability, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine
I am extremely proud to be a trustee of the KMMT. The Trust helps hundreds of people every year during the most difficult times in their lives by providing crucial services that otherwise would not be offered. It also helps to keep the memory alive of my wonderful friend Karen.
Rabbi Rodney Mariner
I am proud of the Karen Morris Memorial Trust and being able to assist my fellow trustees in perpetuating the name of this loving and inspirational young women, particularly in the establishment of Karen’s Homes from Home, thereby assisting both patients and their families and friends to support each other through difficult weeks and months in the most meaningful and appropriate way.
Jon Pollins FCA
I have the honour to be Treasurer of this great charity which provides valuable support for leukaemia patients and their families. It is wonderful to read the comments from the families and friends of leukaemia patients who have stayed in the accommodation provided by KMMT of how it helped to improve their darkest days and makes me proud to be associated with the Trust.
Deputy Director, Corporate Partnerships, Great Ormond Street Hospital Children's Charity
As a close friend of the Morris family it is a real privilege to play a small part in helping the KMMT to achieve its ambitions. It has been amazing to see how Karen’s incredible legacy is making such a difference to those suffering today and I am hugely proud of the charity’s achievements.
I was a close childhood friend of Karen's and am proud to have been a trustee since the KMMT was launched. It is a privilege to be able to use my property experience to help the KMMT grow its Karen’s Homes from Home programme. Karen’s story has touched so many lives and it means a great deal to play a part in continuing her legacy.
After registering as a nurse in 1989 I worked at the bone marrow transplant unit at Hammersmith Hospital, becoming a sister in 1992. In 1994 I created a support service for transplant patients, meeting patients and families before treatment, helping them understand treatments and following them for years afterwards as they recovered or coped with chronic health problems. I met Karen, Sylvia and Debby at Hammersmith. Karen was an inspiration to us all and in the short year that I knew her she encountered all her many difficulties with strength, intelligence and humility. After Karen's death, Sylvia created the Karen Morris Memorial Trust, continuing Karen’s initiative to raise awareness and money to benefit leukaemia sufferers. I was privileged to be invited to become a trustee and hope that my knowledge and experience in caring for people with leukaemia continues to help the KMMT use resources in the best way to support patients, families and friends undergoing treatment.
How the KMMT spends funds
96% of your gift is spent on supporting leukaemia patients and their families.
How the KMMT raises funds
“What a joy to stay in such peaceful and safe surroundings and to be able to visit my husband every day of his treatment. And what a comfort to meet other people staying in the flat as we were able to support each other.”Susanne, Cobham