Chesterfield parents to skydive from 15,000ft to say thank you to Sheffield Children’s Hospital
The pair are braving the dive to raise money for Sheffield Children’s Hospital after they provided care for their teenage daughter and treated her for cancer.
Parenting team Leah Candy and Andy Mellors are set to skydive from 15,000ft today - and so far have raised £2,795 to help with the reconstruction of the hospital’s Cancer and Leukaemia ward.
Their daughter, 14-year-old Lillie-Mae Wood from Clowne, Chesterfield has recently been treated for her cancer at the hospital after discovering a lump at the base of her neck in November 2019.
Mum Leah took her to the GP the next day, who as a precaution, referred the teenager to have an ultrasound scan at their local hospital.
Leah recalls: “Lillie had an ultrasound scan and just a couple of hours later, our GP phoned to tell us that they had found something.
“He couldn’t tell us what it was, only that we needed to be referred to Sheffield Children’s Hospital as soon as possible.”
Lillie-Mae then had an ultrasound, chest x-ray and CT scan at Sheffield Children’s before a biopsy gave a final diagnosis of Hodgkin Lymphoma shortly before Christmas 2019.
Stepfather Andy added: “We were all devastated and shocked. They had advised us that Hodgkin Lymphoma was the worst-case scenario, but Lillie didn’t seem ill.
“She had no other symptoms whatsoever; we just couldn’t believe she had cancer.”
Hodgkin Lymphoma is an uncommon cancer that develops in the lymphatic system, which is a network of vessels and glands in the immune system spreading throughout the body.
Further scans revealed Lillie had the cancer in four places of her body and she began having chemotherapy treatment four times a week at Sheffield Children’s.
Thanks to the care she received on the Cancer and Leukaemia ward, Lillie-Mae completed her treatment in April 2020.
Mum Leah adds: “She’s now doing brilliantly. She loves being out with friends, being back at school and spending time with family.”
To say thank you for the care she received, Lillie-Mae’s family are now fundraising for The Children’s Hospital Charity’s appeal to transform the Cancer and Leukaemia ward into a brighter and refreshed space.
The new ward is the Principal Treatment Centre for children with cancer and leukaemia from babies through to 19-year-olds within South Yorkshire, Lincolnshire and North Derbyshire.
As well as a larger, brighter space, there will be a bigger and better playroom situated in the heart of the ward.
It will maximise the view of Weston Park, making patients feel connected to the outside whilst they are getting better in isolation.
There will also be improved spaces for parents to stay with their children.
Dr Dan Yeomanson, Consultant Paediatric Oncologist at Sheffield Children’s Hospital added: “I would like to say a huge thank you to Leah and Andy for taking on this challenge- they are braver than I am!
“The money raised by Lillie-Mae and her family will help us realise our goal to provide a much better experience for the patients we look after in future.
To support their fundraising, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/leahandandy