When she was just 16 months old, Florence Jackson was diagnosed with stage 4 neuroblastoma and she has been having treatment ever since. She has had 20 rounds of Chemotherapy, major surgery, a stem cell transplant, and 5 weeks of radiotherapy. A CT scan showed that the tumour has spread into her stomach which has wrapped around her blood vessels, and that there is nothing more that can be done to treat her in the UK.
This is a story that has touched the lives of many. You do not have to be a parent to understand the devastation of a child being diagnosed with Cancer, or to imagine what this brave little girl and her family have already gone through. But this isn’t just a story of heartache and pain, it is also a story of immense compassion, support, and solidarity. A just giving page was set up in the hope that £250,000 could be raised to fund life saving surgery with a top neuroblastoma surgeon in New York. That target was hit in just 11 days.
Local press coverage kickstarted fundraising efforts, with 17% of the target being raised within 24 hours. Local businesses and schools were also quick to help with raffles, non uniform days, bake sales, and shares social media, which then led on to national press coverage.
Amongst the huge volume of fund-raising events that were arranged (including coffee mornings, bucket collections, and even a ‘Zumbathon’) The brilliant Mum’s the Word duo announced that they were also to hold a fundraising evening at Salomons Estate, to include a charity auction, a silent disco, a raffle, and many other opportunities to raise money for Florence.
Mum’s the Word create events with, and without, children, to bring together local Mummies who help encourage and inspire each other. As someone who doesn’t have many friends with children, attending these events has opened up a whole new network of wonderful woman who share the same interests, and happen to be mums too. In this social media network, we all seem to know what we are all up to even if we have never met, and Mums The Word events bring these people together in real life.
The successful events that have been organised by Mums the Word enabled them to create an evening filled with fundraising activities with less than 2 weeks notice. Not only did the venue look great with the giant light up signs courtesy of Love Letters Kent, but there was a live DJ, glitter face painting, photo booth, silent disco room, raffle, and a live auction. There were street food vendors, a free cocktail on arrival, and a performance from the street percussion band, Bloco Fogo.
It has just been announced that this event organised for #flosfight raised a staggering £17,077.33!
People came together to donate their time, and to donate their money, to help one family whom they may have never met. No child should deal with cancer. And although shockwaves of the families heartache have rippled through the community, it is incredibly endearing to see what great things can be achieved when people unite.
Little Florence, and her family, we are all thinking of you x
Sadly, on 11th February 2017, Florence lost her battle with cancer. She touched the hearts of many who never even met her. Her strength and bravery will be remembered by all x