Holmfirth youngster Eden Smith who has been battling a rare cancer has just done a dancing show … in and among more scans and trips to the USA.
Just over two years ago the eight-year-old was diagnosed with high-risk neuroblastoma which triggered months of gruelling treatment that has ultimately been successful but the only way to try to stop it coming back is to get specialist treatment in New York.
That’s costly but the Huddersfield community rallied round to raise more than half-a-million pounds to fund the price of the treatment in New York now and in the years ahead.
Eden is back in New York in July but before then the family, friends and supporters are doing a sponsored walk for the charity Neuroblastoma UK which raises money to develop new, more effective and kinder treatments for children with neuroblastoma.
The 21-mile walk on Saturday, June 24, is called Miles For Smiles and sets off from Scholes Cricket Club above Holmfirth at 8.30am and the walkers will trek to the John Smith’s Stadium and then back. So far 140 have signed up and if you want to join them follow this link https://www.redwoodevents.co.uk/m4sregistration/.
Eden plans to do the section from Shepley down to Fenay Bridge and then the final leg back to Scholes. The Huddersfield walkers hope to raise around £10,000 and the main sponsor is Meltham commercial property company Towndoor Ltd.
Eden, who lives with parents Lee and Jen and 10-year-old sister Tia in Wooldale near Holmfirth, was given the all-clear from cancer last November but needs to undergo scans at Leeds General Infirmary every 12 weeks to ensure she’s still clear.
She has had a medical ‘port’ – a two-inch block – in her chest for the last two years so drugs could be administered quickly and, all being well, that will be taken out this weekend.
Eden had always wanted to dance but the cancer had stopped her. The moment she was given the all-clear she joined Silk School of Dance in Honley and has just done her first show at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield.
Lee said: “Eden absolutely loves dancing and had so much wanted to do it for the last two years but that was impossible because of her treatment. Silk had done a big fundraising show for her appeal so it’s wonderful she’s now learning to dance with them.”
Eden was in New York for 30 nights over Christmas and New Year and has returned at the start of February and April with further trips planned for July and December.
Each time she has a vaccine but it needs such special preparation it must be administered within 30 minutes.
Lee said: “The injection is into Eden’s thigh and it’s painful for her. We are now in and out of New York in three days.
“Apart from the New York trips we are just trying to get back to some sort of normality which is wonderful.”
The neuroblastoma Eden was diagnosed with in April 2021 is a rare and aggressive childhood cancer that has a 40% to 50% chance of long-term survival at diagnosis and affects fewer than 100 children in the UK every year. Scans and tests showed the cancer was in seven places around Eden’s body.
She completed gruelling chemotherapy, had a major nine-hour operation then stem cell treatment involving a 35-day isolation stay in hospital, radiotherapy and immunotherapy. To prevent the cancer returning Eden now needs pioneering Bivalent Vaccine treatment which is only available in New York.
Written by ANDY HIRST who runs his own Yorkshire freelance journalism agency AH! PR (https://ah-pr.com/) specialising in press releases, blogging, website content and copywriting.