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March 3, 2020

The Boy Who Lost His Burp raises £3,000 for hospital charity

A local author has written and illustrated a children's book which has sold 600 copies and, in the process, managed to raise £3,000 for the Doncaster and Bassetlaw Birth Appeal.

The Boy Who Lost His Burp tells the story of Charlie, a little boy with a great talent for burping, who suddenly finds himself in a jam when a very strange thing happens. Penned by graphic designer Mike Condon, the book is a way of saying 'thank you' to local clinicians for the care that he and his wife Kelly received when their daughter Willow was born premature last year.

Born at 33 weeks, Willow required assistance from Bassetlaw Hospital's SCBU to help her breathe. Following a further three weeks of treatment, Mike and Kelly were finally able to take Willow home. Showing his appreciation, Mike, who is a Senior Graphic Designer at Nottingham College, decided to put his talents to use and created The Boy Who Lost His Burp, pledging to donate all profits from the book to the trust's Doncaster and Bassetlaw Birth appeal, with the funds to be used for the benefit of the unit which cared for their daughter.

Mike says: "I started writing and illustrating the book back in 2017 before Willow was born. As a graphic designer, I usually spend the majority of my time doing stuff for other people and decided I wanted to do something light-hearted for myself. I thought writing a children's book would be a good way to produce something creative without the usual constraints related to my day-to-day work. I had no intention of doing anything with it – it was just a bit of fun.

"When we found out Kelly was pregnant in 2018, the book was half-finished on my computer. I thought I'd get around to completing it at some point before Willow was a toddler so I could read it to her. When things took a twist and Willow arrived sooner than planned, my wife and I were talking about how grateful we were to those responsible for our daughter's care. We wanted to show our thanks and at the time even joked that we'd toss a coin to see who'd do a marathon to raise funds.

"Together, we came up with the idea that I could finish the book and sell it, with proceeds from sales going towards the trust's charity. It seemed a much more personal touch and there was quite a nice synergy to it – that a book for children could raise money for poorly children. The original plan was to get 250 copies printed to raise £1,000 – that quickly escalated and ended up being three print runs and a final total of £3,000."


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Doncaster Royal Infirmary

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