Thank God my little Chelsea survived

Jemma Bentley, left, and Chelsea McCulloch, with prizes for a fun day they are organising for charity
Jemma Bentley, left, and Chelsea McCulloch, with prizes for a fun day they are organising for charity

A WOMAN who had a decade-long battle with leukemia needs your help to raise money for a children’s cancer charity.

Chelsea McCulloch from Luddendenfoot, was diagnosed with cancer aged five.

She had weekly hospital appointments and had chemotherapy for more than 18 months in her battle to survive.

Her family were warned she only had a slim chance of survival.

Now, aged 22, Chelsea wants to raise money for the Leeds-based Candlelighters charity who helped her and her family through their long battle from diagnosis to being given the all-clear.

Her mum, Karen, had to fight for doctors to correctly diagnose her daughter.

She was told she could be suffering from a collapsed lung and was even sent to an asthma clinic before cancer was diagnosed.

“I just knew she wasn’t well. She was very lethargic and she didn’t want to play.”

Chelsea doesn’t remember much of her early illness.

“I never knew normal. I’d always been in hospital and been conscious of getting even a slight cold and just to be told there’s nothing wrong any more. It upset me,” said Chelsea, a beauty therapy student at Calderdale College.

Karen said she did not realise how ill her daughter as until she was transferred.

“I had nightmares about her funeral. When you go there it’s different because you’ve suddenly got two families because there’s only 16 beds there you know the other families.

“You just thank God yours is one of those who survives.”

Karen said: “They make the kids feel normal and they mix with other children who have the same illness as them.

She was told by doctors she would never be able to have children, but four years-ago defied the odds to give birth to daughter Lexi.

In May she will hold a sponsored 25-mile walk from Luddendenfoot to Stoodley Pike on May 14 and a fun day at the Black Lion pub in the town on May 22.

Despite appeals to businesses and football clubs the only prize they have received is a signed football from Manchester United and leaflets to promote their event from SimPrint.

They bought prizes from their own pocket including Rihanna tickets and a TV.

Money will also go to the Special Care Baby Unit at Calderdale Royal Hospital. Chelsea’s friend Jemma Bentley’s daughter was looked after before she lost her battle aged 24 weeks.

“It’s just so close to us. It’s our way of saying thank you”, said Chelsea.

If you would like to help, email chelseamcculloch@ or call 07810 396744.

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