Christmas has come early for four brave Leeds families who have faced all manner of challenges this year.
Battling cancer patient Kendal Middleton Jessop was among those to get a festive boost through 96.3 Radio Aire and Magic 828’s Cash for Kids charity’s Christmas Wishes competition yesterday.
The three-year-old, from Swarcliffe, was told she will be rewarded with her dream of a Fireman Sam-themed party which will allow her to thank 100 of those who are trying to pay for her to have potentially life-saving treatment abroad.
The supporters of Kendal, who is being treated for neuroblastoma, have helped to raise £160,000 of the £500,000 needed for overseas treatment.
Kendal’s mother Laine Jessop said: “It’s just something she’s always wanted because we do our fundraisers and she thinks they’re her party.”
Beeston resident Michael Windross, 16, who has been struggling with kidney failure for the past six months, and two-year-old Faith Cooper, from Rodley, who was recently diagnosed with Dopa Responsive Dystonia which is a progressive disease that affects the muscles, were also surprised by the charity at Radio Aire, in Burley Road, Leeds, yesterday.
Michael will travel to Spain for a week-long family holiday and visit Barcelona’s Nou Camp football stadium, while Faith will enjoy a princess makeover and family trip to see Peter Pan at the First Direct Arena on Friday.
Faith’s mum Lianne, 25, said: “They’re my kids and it’s just what you do as a parent – you look after them. It’s very nice, I’m just overwhelmed by it.”
Michael, who has kidney dialysis treatment daily and is hopeful of receiving a kidney transplant in the new year, said: “It’s nice to be offered the chance to just get away as a family.”
Leeds siblings Harvey Brier, 6, Brandon Parkinson, 10, and Sophie Parkinson, 7, who lost their 26-year-old mother to cancer last year have also been told they will have their wish granted.
The youngsters, who now live with their maternal grandmother, are being gifted a family trip to London to see the Lion King musical.
Lisa Sullivan, charity manager at Cash for Kids, said: “It means the world to us to be able to help these families in whatever ways we can and bring a boost to them at this time of year.”
Christmas Wishes, which is supported by the Mears Group PLC housing maintenance firm and Simplyhealth, saw scores of residents nominate young people who have had a tough 2013 and deserve to have a wish granted this year.
A GIVING CHARITY
Thousands of the most needy children in Leeds and West Yorkshire are helped every year by Cash for Kids.
The charity, which is well-known for the YEP-backed Mission Christmas toy appeal, raised over £900,000 and supported more than 30,000 underprivileged children in 2012.
Mission Christmas delivers thousands of presents to children who are at risk of waking up to nothing on Christmas Day.
This year’s appeal looks set to surpass 2012’s record of helping over 14,000 kids.
Visit www.radioaire.co.uk for information.