Todmorden family urges Calderdale to turn pink in aid of charity that have helped support son through cancer treatment

A family from Todmorden is encouraging people across Calderdale to Pink It Up in aid of children's cancer charity Candlelighters.

By Tom Scargill
Monday, 23rd May 2022, 3:24 pm
Updated Monday, 23rd May 2022, 3:27 pm

Candlelighters, a charity supporting children with cancer across the Yorkshire region, is urging people to get involved with its fundraising and awareness campaign, Pink It Up, from June 6-12.

The charity offers a variety of support for the families of children with cancer and serious haematological disorders, including emotional, practical, and financial support, as well as investing in vital childhood cancer research, and relies entirely on funding from the community in order to provide its services.

One family that has benefitted from these services is that of Daniel Roberts, from Todmorden.

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Daniel Roberts

Daniel was just nine years old when he was diagnosed with a brain tumour in May 2018 – and then, devastatingly, a further two brain tumours less than a year later.

Following surgery to remove his second tumours, Daniel suffered from a seizure which left him paralysed down his right-hand side, and unable to speak, swallow, or walk. Shortly after he had finally been able to go home, he began chemotherapy treatment, which left him feeling so unwell he had to return to hospital for a further stay.

Daniel’s family was supported by Candlelighters from Daniel’s diagnosis.

Daniel’s mum, Emma, said, “It was during our very darkest days that Candlelighters first came to us.

Daniel with his family

"We had a two-month-old baby at home while Daniel was an inpatient, which was completely heart-wrenching. I stayed at the hospital as I didn’t want to leave Daniel, and made a 70-mile round trip home and back each day to see our baby. We had no income at the time because I was on maternity leave and my husband had to stop working to look after our other four children.

"The financial grants we were given by Candlelighters were an absolute lifeline, as the daily round trip cost over £120 each week in fuel.”

“The amazing Candlelighters Family Support Workers at the ward were like a ray of sunshine – always there to chat, or to sit with Daniel while I went for a shower or something to eat. He had horrendous mucositis at the start of chemotherapy, and the absolutely wonderful Candlelighters dinner lady, Elaine, was there every few hours keeping him topped up with a slushy ice drink – the only thing that gave him any slight relief.”

Pink It Up is Candlelighters’ annual campaign to turn Yorkshire pink and raise funds and awareness for children with cancer. From June 6-12, they’re encouraging people all across the region to get involved any way they can with pink-themed activities and fundraising.

Daniel Roberts

Daniel, now 13, is doing really well and his regular scans are stable. As he had been a keen rugby player before his diagnosis, although unable to play now, Candlelighters arranged for him and his dad to go to a Leeds Rhinos rugby game.

Emma said: “Candlelighters are still such a massive support for our whole family. Daniel’s brother and sister Rian and Erin absolutely love Candlelighters’ Teen Sibling Group activities, and his sister Ava went on the sibling residential trip last year – she’s so comfortable with all the wonderful Candlelighters staff. We don’t know what the future holds for us, but we do know Candlelighters will always be there for us if we need them.

“For anyone thinking of fundraising for Candlelighters, I can’t even begin to tell you what a difference they make to families in our position. You can’t imagine how childhood cancer impacts every single part of your life, and just having someone there who understands what you’re going through, when everything feels like it’s falling apart, is absolutely invaluable.”

Chief Executive Officer of Candlelighters, Emily Wragg, says, “We are so grateful to the support we receive from people across Yorkshire to enable our charity to be there for families facing the most unimaginably difficult time of their lives. Fundraising and donations from supporters mean we can provide vital emotional, practical and financial support for families facing childhood cancer, and that support is available to them for as long as they need. We support hundreds of families just like Daniel’s every year. We’d love it if people across the region can get involved in our Pink It Up campaign, whether taking on some pink fundraising for us or simply donating to us. Every penny raised makes such a huge difference to the children and their families.

Daniel Roberts

“You could host a pink event, do a pink challenge, or wear pink clothes – whatever you do, you'll be helping to fund our vital support for families and raising much-needed awareness of childhood cancer.

"Most importantly, Pink It Up is about coming together as a community, having fun, and showing we care about children with cancer and their families! We really hope you'll join us.”

For more information, visit https://www.candlelighters.org.uk/pink-it-up/.

Daniel Roberts