Asda colleagues at the Wisbech store have come together to raise more than £500 for one of their own.
Through a staff-only cake stall, raffle and tombola, colleagues at the Wisbech store raised £510 for Kelly Church, whose baby daughter Tallulah is going through chemotherapy.
“Everyone at Asda has been absolutely amazing,” Kelly said. “This will make a massive difference.”
The money raised will go towards hospital journeys, as Tallulah has to go alternately to the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in King’s Lynn and Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge for regular chemotherapy sessions. Neither Kelly or her partner Ajay Bennett drive, so travel is expensive.
As an added bonus, local bus company Norfolk Green has given Kelly and Ajay unlimited travel until the end of April, so the money raised will go even further.
The cash will also help the family when they finally get a house, as they are currently living in a trailer in March. They have been bumped to the top of the housing list as their living conditions are not good for Tallulah’s health.
Tallulah, who is 14 months old, suffers from Beckwith-Wiedemann Syndrome (BWS) which is an overgrowth related disorder. No two sufferers are the same and the little girl was born with an overlarge tongue and large kidneys.
Children with BWS have a significantly increased risk of cancer, particularly of the kidney and liver, so they have quarterly ultrasound scans.
In Tallulah’s case, scans revealed two tumours on her left kidney in August, just after Kelly returned to work at Asda.
She had a biopsy carried out and low-dosage chemotherapy for five weeks before the decision was made to remove her kidney. Investigations by specialists later revealed that Stage 1 cancer in the kidney.
Tallulah has now started higher dosage chemotherapy, which will affect her more than her previous chemotherapy. She has had some sickness and may lose her hair.
But mum Kelly said her illness has not stopped her and she is just like any other child.
“I don’t see an ill child,” she said. “She is always happy.”
Checkout operator Kelly has been immensely grateful for the support of everyone at Asda. With a sick child, she has not always been able to work her shifts and has to arrange her work around hospital appointments.
“I love my job. I love coming in and speaking to everyone. I think I would have fallen apart by now if I hadn’t had this.”
The fundraising at Asda was organised by Kate Burnitt and Coral Cox. Lots of people made cakes to sell to colleagues and they also set up a raffle and tombola. Both local businesses and staff members provided prizes, including a £200 driving experience.
The total was boosted by a £200 donation from charity United in Cancer, who had been raising money in the store all week.