Holiday of a lifetime for little Jessica

Lukemia sufferer Jessica Bennett with her mum and dad, Helen and Liam, and brother Owen aged seven.
Lukemia sufferer Jessica Bennett with her mum and dad, Helen and Liam, and brother Owen aged seven.

Family and friends of a poorly little girl who was diagnosed with cancer are rallying round to send her on a magical trip of a lifetime.

The parents of five-year-old Jessica Bennett, Liam and Helen say their world was turned upside down when their little girl was diagnosed with leukemia shortly after they returned from a 2014 summer holiday.

Dad Liam, 29, of Shibden Garth, Shibden, Halifax, said the discovery of his daughter’s cancer was “a bolt from the blue”.

Jessica, who was recently rushed to hospital for a double blood transfusion, is undergoing chemotheraphy at Leeds General Infirmary and there is a chance the family, including brother Owen, 7, could be there over Christmas and Jessica’s birthday - New Year’s Eve.

“It’s been a horrendous whirlwind - we’re only just taking it all in. Hospital has become our second home,” said Helen who will be spending her time with Jessica as she spends five days in hospital, every five days for eight weeks.

But Helen and Liam say they are keeping positive and focusing on getting Jessica back to being a healthy little girl.

The Salterlee Primary School year one pupil won’t be given the ‘all clear’ through affective bone marrow treatment for more than two years.

But, Jessica’s family friends are holding fundraising events to send Jessica on the trip of a lifetime when she gets better - to the dreamland of DisneyWorld, Florida, America.

“We’re so touched our friends have rallied round and organised fundraising events to send us on the holiday of a lifetime - it’s keeping us all positive, we’re really looking forward to when the time comes,” said Helen.

Jessica, who “loves” Disney’s Frozen’s Elsa and Anna said she can’t wait to meet her favourite characters in America - when she gets better.

Friends of Helen and Liam have shown they care for Jessica by fundraising to send her on the holiday of a lifetime.

Zoe Holden and others raised more than £3,000 in a 5-a-side football tournament for Jessica. On February 27, the public is invited to a special race night at Old Brods Rugby Club, Hipperholme. Tables of ten and 8 at £10 per head are available and include a special celebrity guest speaker, entertainment, food, raffle and races. For tickets or to donate a raffle prize see ‘Jessica’s Journey’ on facebook or email