AN Ellington mum, who knows all too well the trauma of childhood cancer, has helped to raise more than £3,500 for charity.
Melanie Shorey has helped her son Nathan through gruelling treatment for leukaemia since he was diagnosed in May 2010.
The four-year-old has to take chemotherapy tablets every day and for the first half of his three-year treatment course he had to visit hospital every week for blood tests. Now it is every fortnight.
Every month he has chemotherapy injections in his chest, and he undergoes more intensive treatment every 12 weeks when he is given an anaesthetic.
Nathan also takes steroids once a month and must have his temperature taken twice a day. If it is too high he faces a three-day stay in hospital.
Throughout it all, Mrs Shorey has been keen to support other families in similar situations and set up an Oncology Mums group on Facebook.
But she was shocked when she discovered one of her friends was going through the same ordeal.
Mrs Shorey had bought cakes from Lynn Robinson for years and saw on Facebook that Mrs Robinson’s son Carl, 14, had been diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. She immediately got in touch and the parents have stayed close friends since.
Mrs Robinson organised a charity ball last year in aid of cancer support and this year invited Mrs Shorey to help.
The pair staged their event at the Holiday Inn at Seaton Burn earlier this month, presenting a band, female vocalist, disco, auction and Formula 1 driving experience simulator, as well as a raffle.
Local businesses, including The Jewellers’ Guild and Sanderson Arcade, donated prizes and the Balloon Fairy decorated the room for free.
More than 100 people attended and so far the total raised from the ball has passed the £3,500 mark. It will be split between the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund (NECCR) and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
Mrs Shorey said: “It was a really good evening.
“It was so stressful organising it all and I said I would never do it again, but people were saying they wanted to come again and the money raised is fantastic.
“Because this was our first go, next year should be bigger and better.”
There is also good news on the treatment front as Carl is now in remission and Nathan is responding well, with eight months left of his intensive chemotherapy.
“Nathan is doing really well. He’s got eight months of his treatment left so we can see light at the end of the tunnel and these eight months are going to fly by. Next July we will have a huge party,” said Mrs Shorey.
“Nathan is still being brave. He even comments now about how he used to cry during his treatment so he knows himself how far he has come.
“He started Ellington First School in September and he loves it. He hates not going and having to miss it if he is going to hospital. Sometimes we have to get him to school just for a little while for him to have a little bit more time there. Even when he is ill he wants to go.”
The Herald previously reported on Nathan receiving a Little Star Award from Cancer Research UK for his bravery during treatment.