Childhood friend of cancer victim raises funds for Sick Kids
HIS favourite childhood memories are of them playing football together and funny mishaps on trampolines.
So when Christopher “Cookie” Coutts died at the age of just 19, his friend Patrick Wallace was left devastated.
But now Patrick, 23, is helping to make sure his legacy lives on – by raising funds in Cookie’s name for the new Sick Kids Hospital.
The musical former Edinburgh Napier student has released a single – called Cookie – to raise £48,000 for a courtyard where children and families can spend quiet, reflective time.
He is working with The Cookie Jar Foundation, a Fife-based charity set up in Christopher’s memory, which is funding seven separate projects at the new hospital, due to open in Little France next year.
Around 70p from every 99p sale of the single on iTunes will go to the foundation, with downloaders also asked to make a donation on the charity’s website.
Patrick, who now lives in Portsmouth, said: “Cookie was always making people laugh with his cheeky and silly sense of humour but he was also so kind. I have so many fond memories of him, his brother Steven and I playing football and hanging out.
“One that always sticks in my mind is when we were bouncing on his trampoline which had a net around it. At that time Cookie had a brace and somehow he managed to get it stuck in the net – and we just kept bouncing! It’s fun memories like that which inspired the lyrics, but it’s also about how much he is missed by everyone that knew him.”
Christopher was born in Edinburgh before his family moved to Dalgety Bay when he was 18 months old. He died in June 2013 after a two-year battle with Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
His mum Debbie Coutts, who founded the charity with her husband David, said: “When Christopher was in hospital we could only either sit in the corridor, next to his bed or in the staff overnight room. There was a real lack of space for families to relax.
“Working with the Sick Kids Friends Foundation means that we will have the opportunity to ensure that the new hospital’s facilities meet the requirements needed at such a stressful time for families.
“We were delighted when Patrick agreed to release a single to help raise funds for the courtyard. He was such a dear friend to Cookie. The first time hearing the completed song was very emotional, the words and the music are truly beautiful.”
The courtyard at the new £150 million Sick Kids is where the bereavement support service and chaplain will work – support and comforting those who feel they need to escape.
Pippa Johnston, director of fundraising and marketing at The Sick Kids Friends Foundation, said: “We are so grateful that The Cookie Jar Foundation continues to support our work.”
• To download the single and find out about other events, visit thecookiejarfoundation.co.uk/song-for-cookie/