Brave little Jessica Pinder and her family are hoping to spread some summer joy, while helping others at the same time.
The seven-year-old, from Preesall, was diagnosed with leukaemia in February this year and since then her and her family’s life has changed drastically.
But despite all they have been through – Jessica has had to have intensive chemotherapy, endure countless trips to the hospital, spend five weeks in hospital when she was first diagnosed – her family has still found time and found it in their hearts to organise a big fundraising event.
Jessica’s mum Claire has arranged a family fun day, to take place on July 17, at Fleetwood Charity School, where she is a teaching assistant and Jessica is a pupil.
The event will raise money for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where Jessica has been having extensive treatment.
Claire, who is married to Scott, and has three other children – Kaitlyn, nine, Lewis, five and Daisy, two, – said: “Royal Manchester have just been excellent.
“We couldn’t have asked for anything more, they have been so brilliant, we feel we want to put something back.
“Jessica had her birthday while she was in hospital, they had got her cards and the nurses brought her presents. It really is like a home from home.
“When Jessica was first diagnosed, we had to spend five weeks in the hospital.
“It all happened really fast and was like a whirlwind, we didn’t even have time to think.
“We were not expecting it at all – to be told your child has leukaemia.
“But the hospital was excellent – it even has a hotel for parents, where you just put down a deposit and you can stay for free, which takes that pressure off of going backwards and forwards every day to the hospital.
“My best friend was a great help looking after the children, so I could have my mum with me.”
Jessica was diagnosed with the condition after she had become thin and complained of feeling unwell – her parents thought initially she was tired after taking part in a four-night show at Thornton Little Theatre.
But after she had got up in the middle of the night complaining of leg pain and the next day was still unwell, her mum felt she had to do something, so took her to the Urgent Care Centre.
“When I look back at photos now, I can see how unwell she was.
“She was thin and yellow, we thought perhaps she had a kidney infection or a bug and was tired from the show.
“We never expected to hear she had leukaemia.
“She had one intensive lot of chemo and has got to have some more, but this time she doesn’t have to stay in hospital for it. She has coped amazingly well.
“She has still been able to live her normal every day life.
“Jessica goes swimming, to ballet lessons, she’s been brilliant.
“We made a video diary too, for school, to help the children understand what has been happening.
“We’ve just been trying to live as normal a life as possible.”
The fun day next month will feature a whole host of activities – including afternoon tea, music with DJ Tazz, games, a bouncy castle, face-painting, balloon release and a visit from the hospital mascot.
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