A mum who lost her son to a rare cancer is raising funds for more research into the disease and to help other young people going through similar battles.
Mandy Giddins’ son Jordan died on April 27 this year.
The 18-year-old, from Flint, was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) when he was 11 and received incredible support from friends, family and fellow Flintshire residents, when he was going through gruelling treatment needing high dose steroids, chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant.
In November 2015 he was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, which was a secondary cancer due to all of his previous treatment.
The disease is a rare type of cancer that affects bones and mainly affects children and young people.
Jordan’s mum, who was a nurse at Wrexham Maelor, said the family’s hearts were “broken forever” when the former Flint High School pupil lost his fight and they have decided to set up a charity in order to honour his name and ‘keep his memory alive’.
They have named the charity Giddo’s Gift, as many of those who knew Jordan would call him Giddo.
Mandy said: “It’s hard knowing what to do for the best but Jordan always thought everyone was worse off than him and wanted to help people even when he was so poorly.
“Jordan was so full of life. We just want his name and memory to live on.
“We want to raise enough money to help teenagers and young adults aged 13 to 24 in North Wales and the North West of England so they can apply via a grant for something they need.
“Cancer can have such a strain financially, it’s a huge financial impact.
“Paul [Jordan’s dad] and I went through that. I had to leave my job when Jordan was having all the treatment.
“We would want to provide a grant or we could buy the young people things they need when they’re in hospital.
“Unfortunately young people aged 18 and above also don’t get free funerals, like they do under the age of 18, so we can also give a grant to bereaved families for teens and young adults.
“You shouldn’t have to pay for your child’s funeral, and you wouldn’t even think as a parent of needing to save for that.”
Next year the family are hoping to give a grant to Sarcoma UK, which supports those who are suffering with Ewings Sarcoma as Jordan did.
It was set up to address a lack of funding for research into the disease and to help find a cure.
Mandy added: “There has been only three new drugs approved for children’s cancer in 20 years and no proven treatment plan for relapsed Ewings Sarcoma. Since Christmas we have heard about so many young people dying and it just doesn’t seem right.
“There’s not a lot out there for people suffering with Ewings Sarcoma. We experienced this with Jordan. It’s such an aggressive cancer and there needs to be more research.
“People pay so much to cancer research and there’s always fundraising going on but less than four per cent goes to childhood cancer.
“It’s heartbreaking to hear that for us and because of what we went through with Jordan since he was 11. We have got a huge hole in our lives as do so many other parents. It’s been so hard.
“Throughout his battle we had tremendous support from family, friends and our community which touched our hearts and allowed us to get the best treatment available and stay with our precious boy as much as possible. Unfortunately a lot of teenagers and young adults faced with cancer do not have such support so we aim to help them as much as possible.
“Even if we can help one person in Jordan’s memory that would be incredible for us.”
The family have organised various Giddo’s Gift events including the Jordan Giddins Memorial Golf Tournament on September 29 at 10.30am until 2.30pm which is a team event where lots of prizes can be won.
The dress code is blue for Jordan’s favourite football team Manchester City and the cost is £100 per team.
They will also be holding Giddo’s Gift Afternoon Tea on November 5 from 12 to 4 at Venue Armoury in Flint and would be grateful for any cake donations for the event.
For more information about Giddo’s Gift visit www.facebook.com/giddosgift18
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