Jenny’s selfless act in aid of Save for Samuel

Jenny Thirlaway with her children, Jack and Molly. Picture by Mandy Charlton.
Jenny Thirlaway with her children, Jack and Molly. Picture by Mandy Charlton.

Despite dealing with her own battle against cancer, a mum-of-twins has decided to do some fund-raising for a Morpeth family’s appeal to take their son to the USA for some revolutionary treatment.

Jenny Thirlaway, of Wallsend, is friends with Anna and Jonathan Wright. Their two-year-old boy, Samuel, suffered a brain injury during birth and as a result was diagnosed with cerebral palsy.

Anna Wright with her two-year-old son Samuel.

Anna Wright with her two-year-old son Samuel.

Despite making huge progress in recent months, including learning to sit independently and to crawl and stand, he relies on being tube fed and cannot talk.

His parents are aiming to raise £25,000 so he can spend time at a specialist facility in Duke University, North Carolina, and the Neurological and Physical Abilitation Center (NAPA) in Los Angeles.

Both provide therapies and techniques that are not available in the UK.

After a shaving head activity was mentioned by a friend to raise money for Jenny, she insisted that such an event should bring in funds in aid of Save for Samuel.

As a result, Shave for Samuel is taking place at Sanderson Arcade in Morpeth on Saturday from 3.30pm. The group, including the Wright family, will be outside Marks & Spencer at about 3pm and there will be donation buckets.

Jenny and her husband Scott were successful with IVF. However, their children Jack and Molly were born prematurely at 34 weeks in 2008.

Although Jack recovered from breathing problems, Molly started fitting after four days and doctors discovered she had meningitis.

She survived the intensive treatment, but as a result of the infection, she has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and autism.

Scott was diagnosed with Hodgkin lymphoma just weeks after Molly was discharged form hospital. There have been relapses, but he is now in remission.

Jenny was diagnosed with bowel cancer in March and she is currently receiving chemotherapy treatment.

She first met Anna and Samuel when they came along to a baby massage class she was instructing.

Jenny said: “I knew how Anna felt and following that class, we became friends and kept in touch.

“I had been thinking of doing something in aid of Anna and Jonathan’s appeal for a few weeks and so when a friend, Della Clark, offered to shave her hair off to raise funds for me, I decided that would actually be a good idea to help Save for Samuel.

“Della and my 70-year-old dad Ron Hetherington are getting their heads shaved with me on Saturday and I’m asking the people who follow my online blog to donate £5.”

The Wright family, which also includes one-year-old Estella, live in Morpeth town centre.

Jonathan said: “Jenny is going through so much and she has herself and her family to think about, so it’s amazing that she has decided to raise money for us.”

An online page for Samuel has been set-up through the Just4Children charity, which enables people to add Gift Aid to their donation.

A link to this page and more information about the shave event can be found via Jenny’s Facebook post –