BABY Kaydan Jacques, who was left almost blind after contracting cancer in both of his eyes, has received hundreds of pounds worth of sensory toys after three Bridlington girls completed a sponsored walk.
11-year-olds Claire Westmoreland, Priya Aujla and Ellie Walkington took part in the walk last month and raised an impressive £700.45 which provided a range of stimulating toys which will help 14-month-old Kaydan, who was diagnosed with the rare cancer Retinoblastoma five months ago, has no vision in his left eye and only 5% in his right eye, to learn.
The £700 eventually raised was well above the girls’ original £200 target and allowed Kaydan’s parents Michelle and Chris Jacques to donate £300 to the Leeds based children’s cancer charity Candlelighters, who have helped the family during Kaydan’s treatment.
Michelle said: “We want to say a big thank you to the girls who worked so hard to raise money for Kaydan. We are very grateful that Kaydan now has these toys, and that we could donate something to Candlelighters who have been brilliant.
“Since the Free Press publicity the response has been amazing, I have had people stop me in the street to offer to help and to fundraise, which is much appreciated. It’s also good to raise awareness about the condition.”
Kaydan attended his last chemotherapy session to shrink the tumours behind his eyes last week at Leeds General Infirmary.
“This is the time when his immune system will be low so he might end up back in hospital, and Kaydan will still have to go to Birmingham once a month for check ups, but we’re keeping our fingers crossed,” continued Michelle.
Claire, Priya and Ellie took part in the walk as part of the Humberside Police Lifestyle challenge, in which youngsters do something to help their local communities during the summer holidays. Apart from their sponsored walk, which took them from Sewerby Road around the town and back, the girls also helped out at the Salvation Army citadel in Wellington Road.
Under the team name The Hot Tigers, the girls were inspired to help Kaydan after they heard his story from Priya’s mum Jaz, who owns the Premier shop on Sewerby Road and had been chatting about Kaydan’s condition with his grandfather Jeff, who regularly uses the shop.
Jaz said: “I’m just so proud of them all, they’ve put in a lot of work. They wanted to do something that made a difference and they have done. I’d also like to thank everyone who came in the shop to put money in the collection, especially the gentleman who really started the ball rolling by donating £100. I can’t believe how much they managed to raise.”