THREE schoolgirls are to embark on a sponsored walk to help buy special sensory toys for a Bridlington baby left almost blind after contracting cancer in both of his eyes.
Thirteen-month-old Kaydan Jacques was diagnosed with the rare cancer Retinoblastoma four months ago, which has left him with no vision in his left eye, and only 5% in his right eye.
Now his parents Chris and Michelle hope to raise money to buy special tactile toys which will help stimulate Kaydan and help him learn.
And after hearing about Kaydan’s story, a team of three girls from Bridlington – 11-year-olds Claire Westmoreland, Priya Aujla and Ellie Walkington – have decided to embark on a sponsored walk on Tuesday to help raise money to buy the toys.
Kaydan’s dad Chris said: “Kaydan is such a happy little soul. He’s a bit of a cheeky monkey actually, and we treat him exactly the same as our other children.
“It is wonderful that in this day and age when all you seem to hear is bad press about youngsters, that these girls want to help Kaydan. We want to thank them for doing it.”
Kaydan has nearly completed a course of chemotherapy at Leeds General Infirmary which has seen the tumours, which affect his retinas, shrink.
“That is obviously good news, we will still need to take him to Birmingham Children’s Hospital to be checked out but we hope that the cancer is going,” continued Chris, who lives on Borough Road in the town with Kaydan’s mum Michelle and their other three boys, Dylan, 14, Nathan, 17 and Jordan, 17.
“He is just a normal baby and we try not to let the cancer affect his life and our life, although sometimes it can be a strain, especially after his chemo sessions because they do take a lot out of him. It hit us hard when he was first diagnosed.”
Kaydan’s mum Michelle said: “We wanted to make people aware of the condition so that if it happens to other families, they can be prepared and get treatment started.
“We noticed that Kaydan’s eyes developed a red sheen over the pupils, and having three other boys I realised that something was not right.
“Even the doctor didn’t know what it was at first because it is so rare, especially in someone as young as Kaydan and to get it in both eyes.”
The girls walking to raise money –Claire, Priya and Ellie – are taking part in Humberside Police’s Lifestyle challenge, which encourages youngsters to help out in their local community throughout the summer holidays, under the team name The Hot Tigers.
They have already helped out at Bridlington’s Salvation Army citadel, and were inspired to help Kaydan after they heard his story from Priya’s mum Jaz, who owns the Premier store on Sewerby Road and had been chatting about Kaydan’s condition with his grandfather Geoff, who regularly uses the shop.
Jaz said: “When the girls heard about Kaydan they said straight away that they wanted to help out.
“They have already been to the Salvation Army and it went so well they are going to go back and help out over Christmas, and now they are excited to do this walk for Kaydan.”
The girls, who recently left Bay Primary School and start at Headlands School in September, will set off walking from the Premier store in Sewerby Road on Tuesday, weather permitting, heading down Quay Road to the Spa before heading back round the town, up Fortyfoot and back to the shop – where collection buckets are available for anyone who would like to donate to Kaydan’s cause.
“They are all looking forward to doing it, they’ve all got lots of energy,” continued Jaz.
l Anyone else who would like to help raise money for Kaydan can contact the Free Press newsdesk on 01262 677338 or firstname.lastname@example.org