Happy, full of life, a whirlwind of loveliness, six-year-old Lulu just has a great big smile that lights up the world. But in January 2018, just months after starting school, she was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma and it had spread to her bones, bone marrow and lymphatic system.
Lulu immediately started chemotherapy and surgery more chemotherapy, stem cell harvest, high dose chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy (which she is currently having) followed.
Her family want Lulu to access treatment in New York – a clinical trial which is showing promise in reducing relapse rates, which near 50% with high-risk neuroblastoma. If that happened to Lulu, her chances of survival would drop to less than one in ten. Her parents are launching an appeal to raise £162,000 by June 2019, and hope Lulu will be in remission at the end of immunotherapy to be able to access the treatment.
Community fundraisingLulu goes to the same school as my children, two years younger than my own daughter. We live in a new, but very tight-knit community in Bedford, with many young families. Lulu's story is every parent's worst nightmare and everyone in our community is doing what they can to help raise money for Lulu's appeal. From shaving hair to marathons, from charity balls to bake sales, the whole community is right there with them.
In my little sewing corner of the world, I wanted to get the village's children involved in making something to show their support for Lulu. Two of their teachers are about to run the London Marathon in aid of Lulu, so we decided to make banner for them and to raise money for the appeal at the same time.
I put out a call to local sewing groups for scrap fabric, and was overwhelmed with their kind donations. Enough to fill my living room floor!
Craft dayI was invited to join the Easter Craft event on the 16th April , organised by the lovely people at the Great Denham Community Hall in aid of Lulu's appeal. We decided to fill the banner with fabric butterflies, the logo of the Solving Kids' Cancer charity and an important symbol of hope for Lulu's fundraising. So the banner craft table was filled with butterflies, fabric pens, glue, sequins, buttons, trims and the most amazing selection of glittery fabrics!
The children who came to the banner craft table were wonderful. They wanted to make beautiful butterflies to support their teachers and their friend. They took their time and were so creative. By the end of the day we had eighty-eight magnificent butterflies.
The finished bannerThe finished banner is made from 2m of extra wide calico trimmed with bias binding. The main lettering was attached with fuse-a-web and the appeal transfer was created using a personalised t-shirt transfer service from eBay. I used curtain eyelets at the corners for the banner to be hung and the eighty-eight butterflies were attached with hemming tape.
Denise and Trish will be running the London Marathon in 2019 for Children with Cancer, a charity close to their hearts.
"Earlier this year a special young lady at our school was diagnosed with neuroblastoma. Watching her and her family show such courage and bravery has inspired us to help the many children that are diagnosed with cancer every year. This is why we have decided to take on the challenge of the London Marathon.
Although we both run on a regular basis neither of us have ever run further then a half marathon. Every penny will spur us on even further and will go towards this amazing charity, Children with Cancer, who are helping more and more children ring the bell for the end of their treatment every year."
Good luck Lulu's Ladies!
Supporting Lulu's Campaign
To donate by text, send “LULU” followed by any whole amount up to £20 to 70085. This will cost your donation plus your standard network charge. It won’t matter if you leave a space before the number, if you include a ‘£’ sign or whether you use upper or lower case.
If you’d like help supporting Lulu’s campaign, please get in touch with the fundraising team on 0207 284 0800 and firstname.lastname@example.org.