Penarth mum's fundraiser for Teenage Cancer Trust, to thank all who helped in daughter's recovery
FUNDRAISER: Hayley’s mum, Sarah, will host an auction at the Masonic Hall on October 6 to raise money for the 'outstanding' Cardiff Teenage Cancer Trust, who helped herdaughter.
THE mother of a Penarth schoolgirl in remission from cancer is preparing to host a fundraiser to celebrate her daughter’s recovery - and to say thank you for the 'phenomenal' support of those who helped throughout her illness.
Sarah Stroud found out that daughter, Hayley, had a rare form of bone cancer on September 28, 2011.
Preparing to move to Australia, the family each had to undergo medicals to secure their visas, and it was at Hayley’s check that the tumour was found in her left rib.
The family were already dealing with the diagnosis two months earlier of Hayley's 19-year-old cousin with a brain tumour - and sadly he died on August 6 this year.
“We only found out about Hayley's tumour by chance," said Sarah.
"And while it was heartbreaking, had that not happened she would almost certainly have died - the doctors told us that much. The cancer had already spread to her lungs.”
Hayley, aged just 13, missed seven months of school as she underwent intense chemotherapy.
But since having an operation to remove the cancerous cells, together with part of her lung and ribs, she has been told she is in remission, and the Stanwell School student returned to start her GCSE studies in Year 10 last week.
To celebrate, and to raise money for the Cardiff Teenage Cancer Trust at the University Hospital of Wales, her mum - who called the care she received there ‘phenomenal’ - has organised a fundraising evening at the Masonic Hall on Saturday, October 6.
Around 50 prizes have been donated by businesses and individuals in Penarth to be auctioned off on the night, including a pair of Shane Williams' signed World Cup rugby boots - donated to Sarah after originally being bought for more than £1,000 in another auction - plus two of his shirts from club and country.
There is also a signed Harry Potter movie script, and golf days from clubs across south Wales.
Sarah said Hayley had handled her illness with an ‘amazing amount of dignity’ throughout.
“She’s an amazing kid,” said the team leader at Tesco in Penarth Marina.
The form of cancer was so rare that only two cases are diagnosed a year, and the family had to go to the Royal Brompton Hospital in London for specialist surgery.
“Her attitude has been one of positivity throughout,” added her mum.
“She would say 'there will always be someone worse than me'. Her strength has amazed us all."
Sarah said it had been a traumatic year for the family, especially Hayley’s nine-year-old sister Mollie, but the fundraiser - under the banner of the 'Spike Foundation', so named after Hayley’s hair fell out as a result of her treatment and grew back Spikey, providing a nickame that has stuck - would bring a sense of closure to the journey.
The Chaucer Close resident said: “It will be a celebration of what Hayley has achieved, but also a way of raising awareness of teenage cancer - and of course, giving something back for the unbelievable support we received.
“Had it not been for my friends and family I’m not sure I would have got through the last year, and I can’t praise the staff at the Teenage Cancer Unit at UHW enough. They were outstanding. “The response from the people of Penarth, and local business, has also been brilliant.”
* Tickets for the event are sold out but donations and telephone bids for items in the auction will be accepted. To contribute to the Spike Foundation or to make a bid, call Sarah on 07795 388104 or email email@example.com
To donate to the Spike Foundation you can now go to www.justgiving.com/thespikefoundation