Charity evening to help fund Wrexham boy's dream

Reporter:

Claire Gallagher

A FUNDRAISING event for a little boy with leukaemia will help to pay for a dream holiday to Disney World Florida.

Four-year-old Leighton Rhys Jones has been described by his mum Jenene Jones as her “brave little soldier” after he was diagnosed with the illness in February.

But the four-year-old, who has started school at Ysgol Hooson part time, cannot get on an aeroplane until his treatment finishes in February, 2013.

Jenene, 37, said that her little boy can’t do everything that other children his age can, such as go to parties, events or even to the cinema.

She explained that Leighton’s weak immune system means he is more at risk if he catches an illness and has to do all he can to stay well.

“If he gets a temperature he has to go into hospital,” Jenene said.

“He’s coping fine though, he’s a little star and he’s dealt with so much.”

Leighton was diagnosed with leukaemia in February and has had intensive chemotherapy for six months.

He is now in remission but must stay on what is known as “maintenance” treatment until 2013.

Even then the youngster, who lives in Hall Street, Rhos, with his mum, dad Richard and little sister Tia-Lily, 14 months, will always have to have regular checkups at hospital.

“At first it was horrendous to go through this, it does break your heart,” said Jenene.

“I used to go into his bedroom and just look at him and cry, but you have to stay strong for them. But the main thing is we have got him – no matter what you’re going through we have still got him.

“It has been a rollercoaster of emotions but he’s been wonderful and coped so well. He’s been through a lot for a four-year-old.”

The charity event will be at Brymbo Sports and Social Complex on Friday, October 1 and is being organised by Leighton’s aunt Sharon Baker and Steve Walters, also of Rhos, and the money will be split between Leighton’s fund and Alder Hey Hospital.

Sharon said: “Leighton has been such a little star during his illness, even though he doesn’t fully understand the extent of what is happening to him. He is such a brave little boy.”

Jenene added: “The fundraising is so important because it will enable us to take him away on holiday – we said we wanted to go to Disney World.

“His insurance will cost more than £1,000 though, it is so expensive, but we also want to put it in a bank account for him.”

Gap Recruitment of Wrexham has sponsored the band Koo Ka Choo for the evening and there will be a football shirt auction with shirts from top clubs Liverpool and Chelsea.

There will also be a raffle and live entertainment and doors open from 7pm.

Tickets at £6 each are available from Sharon on 07784027606 or from Gareth Lloyd at Brymbo Sports Complex on 01978 752577.

Fundraising for Leighton:
There have been a number of other events to help Leighton and to raise money for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, which he attends.

- A charity fancy dress football match by Penycae under 7s raised £2,000. The match was organised by Leighton’s godmother Andrea Jones and the money went towards an adventure playground in Leighton’s back garden.

- Sharon Baker jumped out of an aeroplane and raised £1,000 for Leighton.

-Jenene’s dad Frank Bithell raised £500 at an Air Products cabaret.

- Jenene’s grandmother Ruth Foulkes celebrated her 90th birthday and rather than presents asked for donations to Alder Hey.

- Amy Owens did a bungee jump and raised £340 and Abbie Southwell did a skydive raising £320 for the youngster.

- Darren Jones also raised a further £460.

“The support has been absolutely brilliant, a big thankyou to everyone,” added Jenene.

See full story in the Leader

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