Family’s big thank you to Candlelighters charity

Olivia Watson with her mum Gemma, brother Zack and Maryellen Jaques who are raising money for Candlelighters. (p621a504)
Olivia Watson with her mum Gemma, brother Zack and Maryellen Jaques who are raising money for Candlelighters. (p621a504)
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The family of a brave three-year-old girl suffering from leukaemia is raising money for the charity which supported her.

Olivia Weston was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia last October and her treatment began just three days later.

She has already had two stages of intensive chemotherapy and faces further treatment this year.

Now her family is raising money for the children’s charity Candlelighters which has given invaluable help to them and Olivia.

Her mum, Gemma Weston, of Mill Field Crescent, Pontefract, said: “From the very first moment in hospital Candlelighters really helped us come to terms with the dreadful news.

“They really encouraged Olivia to get out of bed and provided items at her bedside such as a television, a Playstation and a DVD player.

“It helped make things a bit easier and feel more like home. We want to raise as much money as we can to say thank you for everything they have done for our daughter.”

After her diagnosis Olivia started chemotherapy treatment at Leeds General Infirmary.

Her parents opted for her to take part in a new chemotherapy trial, which saw her given a higher dosage of the treatment.

And remarkably after eight days Olivia was in remission.

Mrs Weston said: “She has done unbelievably well. We decided to do the trial to try and help other children who have to have chemotherapy in the future.

“We knew the trial worked both ways but we decided to do it to see which caused the least side effects.

“The doctor said it was only the second time someone had been in remission that quickly.”

Olivia is currently in her third stage of treatment and Mrs Weston said her daughter is finally getting back to her normal self. “She is back to her mischievous ways again and she has gone back to nursery, which is a big step for her,” Mrs Weston said.

Olivia’s dad Rob Weston raised more than £4,000 for Candlelighters through his work, Cranswick Gourmet Bacon Company.

Staff at Dovecote Park in Stapleton, where Mrs Weston works, also raised £1,200.

The family has organised an all-day event at Willow Park Social Club in Baghill Lane on Saturday, February 21 from 9.30am.

The fundraiser will include live music, stalls and a visit from Disney characters Elsa and Mickey Mouse.

Family members will also take part in a sponsored sky dive and Yorkshire Three Peaks walk later this year.

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/gemma-weston.