HELP US TO HELP BESSIE THROUGH HER CANCER JOURNEY

Campaign Created by: Mike Banks

The funds from this campaign will be received by Michael Banks.

Raised: GBP £ 31,096

Hello, we’re fundraising to help raise money to support our 11-year old daughter Bessie in her fight against cancer.

Just before Christmas Bessie was complaining of mild pain in her left leg, just above the knee. We attributed it to growing pains or an awkward twist, but the pain kept getting worse. Following an X-ray in early January we were shocked & devastated to learn that our beautiful girl has a rare type of bone cancer called Osteosarcoma. This affects around 35 children a year in Great Britain.

From that day our lives have been turned upside down. We’ve spent a lot of time in hospitals, between Truro, Bristol & Birmingham, in order to fully understand the specifics of her condition and put together a treatment plan.  

Bessie has now started the harrowing journey of chemotherapy in Bristol Children’s Hospital, to be followed by surgery in April to save her leg. Then there’s more chemotherapy until October (9 months of treatment). Bessie has had to have one of her ovaries removed in order to protect it from chemo damage. This has been sent to Oxford where it’s being cryopreserved; it can then be returned to her body later in life should she wish to have babies.

Molly and I are both self-employed. We followed our dream to establish Zennor Wayside, a gift shop and gardens, here in our family home back in 2020. Just before all of this, and following a very difficult previous year, we had had to close our business through January to undertake necessary renovation work. Our plan was to re-open in the spring / summer, and then unfortunately put our home & business on the market. Despite our previous stoic and positive outlook, this new turn of events has put us on our knees. Zennor Wayside is now completely closed and our lives are on hold. Everything depends on Bessie’s treatment going well and getting her better.

Until we can re-open our business we have lost our main income, but we’re facing significant costs. We have one car between us and it’s not currently fit for ongoing, regular trips to Bristol over the next 9 months. We need to adapt our house (a higgledy piggledy Cornish cottage) for Bessie’s reduced mobility. We hope to set up a recovery / physio / exercise space in our home to nurse Bessie back to health following her surgery and chemotherapy.

We’re incredibly fortunate and grateful to have such a wonderful medical team taking care of Bessie (and us and her little brother). She’s been so brave throughout, remaining resolute and strong despite the fear, pain and sadness that no child should have to endure. We’ve been overwhelmed by love and support from our family and friends, for which we are eternally grateful. It’s extremely difficult for us to ask for help, even in our darkest hour, but our love for Bessie and her future overrides this.

Any funds that we manage to raise will go directly towards aiding Bessie’s treatment and recovery, and providing comfort for her as she fights this awful illness.

We thank you from the bottom of our hearts.

Mike & Molly

UPDATES

Update #2
February 14, 2024
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Hello everybody.

There are no words that can even come close to expressing our gratitude to all of you amazing, lovely people. Your generosity, kindness and messages of love and support have been overwhelming. We are both humbled and stunned. Forgive me for finding it hard to describe. Nothing could've prepared us for the response that we've had for Bessie's campaign, it's unimaginable. We just can't say thank you enough xx THANK YOU! We are now in a position that, less than a week ago, we wouldn't have dared dream of, and are able to focus all of our energy on Bessie right now. Your love & support is directly enhancing the quality of her life whilst she battles this dreadful illness.

Bessie and Molly have spent the last 3 weeks in hospital (since her 1st operation and chemo #1 - Bristol then Treliske), with only 2 nights at home. She's lost over 10% of her body weight now and had to have a blood transfusion on Sunday due to a very low platelet count. Her blood results showed that somehow, she's also contracted influenza, confirmed today as swine flu! (She doesn't appear to like doing things by half). She's had intravenous antibiotics but keeps getting a temperature which is why she can't come home.

Despite being mightily fed up being in hospital for so long she's managed to keep her sense of humour. Chemo #2 is scheduled for Tuesday 20th Feb; for now we'll have to see how things go.

A quick update on the car: Our local garage, wonderful Chris Nicholls Motors in Longrock, Penzance, took it in last week, did the repairs and then refused to charge us! Further to that, they organised to lend us an incredible 2nd car for the coming months. We can't say thank you enough, especially to Geoff.

We truly are eternally grateful to every single one of you X

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