A GROUP of girls walked the length of the town to raise money for baby Kaydan Jacques, left almost blind after contracting cancer in both of his eyes.
Thirteen-month-old Kaydan 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, which led 11-year-olds Claire Westmoreland, Priya Aujla and Ellie Walkington to embark on the sponsored walk to help raise money to buy special tactile sensory toys for him.
The girls completed their walk on Tuesday, going from the Premier store on Sewerby Road down St John’s Street and Quay Road and turning off to the Spa before heading back past the harbour, along Promenade and up Fortyfoot to complete the route – raising more than £300 in the process.
Jaz Aujla, Priya’s mum who owns the Premier store on Sewerby Road, said that the girls – who are completing the Humberside Police Lifestyle Challenge under the team name ‘The Hot Tigers’ – had “done themselves proud”.
“They really wanted to do something that would make a bit of a difference. A lot of youngsters who do the lifestyle challenge do litter picks, or clean graffiti, which is absolutely excellent – but it would have been disheartening to go back a couple of weeks later and see it a mess again,” said Jaz.
“They just wanted to help Kaydan as soon as they heard about his story. We were targeting £200 but I think we have already got a lot more than that – I am really proud of all of the girls.”
Kaydan has nearly completed a course of chemotherapy at Leeds General Infirmary which has seen the tumours, which affect his retinas, shrink.
His parents Chris and Michelle have said they are “very grateful” to the girls for raising the money to buy sensory toys that will help Kaydan learn – and that they hope his story would make parents aware of the condition.
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.”