Community rallies in huge lantern display after tragic death of Leeds two-year-old Skye Sutcliffe
Hundreds of Chinese lanterns are set to be released in a show of community support to the family of late Leeds toddler Skye Sutcliffe.
Neighbours, friends, family and general well-wishers will gather at Intake Square, in Middleton, to light candles and around 200 lanterns in an impromptu 'Light Up the Skye' event tonight at 7pm.
It comes after it emerged that two-year-old Skye, who had been fighting a rare combination of blood cancers, passed away on Tuesday evening.Family friends Nadine Parker, Lesley Burrows, Lisa Wright and Scott Brooke have rallied local supporters to pay a poignant tribute to brave Skye.
Proceeds from the sales of the lanterns and collections on the night will be donated to Skye's parents Amie Mills and Damion Sutcliffe, who have raised more than £17,000 for the Candlelighters and Delete Blood Cancer UK charities during their daughter's battle with leukaemia.
Nadine, who also lives in Middleton, said: "It's just to let them all know that we are thinking about them and that she has touched the community.
"They are lifelong friends and it's hard watching them going through it. It's to let them know they have that moral support."
Skye, who only turned two in September, was initially diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic and myeloid leukaemia when she was 20 weeks old and her battle with the disease has led her family to raise thousands of pounds for charity while organising events encouraging people to sign the bone marrow register.
It was hoped that Skye could overcome her rare double diagnosis in August last year, when her brother Harvey, four, donated bone marrow to her but within months few donor cells remained and her illness was deemed terminal.
Despite the prognosis, doctors found that she had made a miraculous recovery in June when she went into ‘spontaneous remission’ but she later had an “extremely aggressive” relapse.
Her parents were recently advised to make the heartbreaking decision to sign a 'do not resuscitate' form for their beloved daughter and her chemotherapy dosage was doubled to make her more comfortable in her final few months.
A statement released by the family said: "Our Skye Pie passed away peacefully surrounded by most of her loved ones.
"Her brothers were so very brave, we are extremely proud of them.
"We thank you all for your support throughout Skye's amazing fight for life, she did us proud too."
To donate to Skye's fundraising pages visit justgiving.com/Skye-Sutcliffe or justgiving.com/Skye-sutcliffe1.