Today we’d like to share with you another beautiful fundraising story – B.O.B.’s Baubles.

‘At five years old, Blake Holdsworth became very ill and after three months of doctors appointments and hospital trips, he was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL). His treatment of chemotherapy and steroids started straight away, with six months of intensive treatment and a planned further three years of maintenance treatment.

Blake took all of this so well – showing true strength and positivity. Blake experienced all of the usual effects of chemotherapy and also some initial complications but in general, he responded really well to the treatment and went into remission quickly, enabling him to get back to many normal activities after the first six months. Blake managed well but in September 2017, partway through his maintenance treatment, Blake started to become very ill again, until he was hospitalised at the beginning of November.

This illness baffled the doctors and consultants; he was tested for everything they could think of, but he became seriously ill and was transferred to intensive care and put on full life support. There he was diagnosed with Hemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) – a very rare and life-threatening disease, caused by an uncontrolled growth of white blood cells. Blake did not respond to the treatment he was given and after a short time in PICU, sadly passed away on 30 November 2017, aged seven, leaving his family and friends devastated.

Blake’s the most amazing boy – kind, caring, funny, strong and so loving. He is immensely loved and missed by his family, friends and everyone who he came into contact with. His smile lit up any room, his laugh was contagious and he made us the proudest parents ever. He loved to watch wrestling and loved to game – aspiring to be a YouTuber.

To honour Blake, a Facebook page was set up called ‘Because Of Blake’, which the family use to promote fundraising campaigns.

Each year Blake’s family have marked his anniversary with something that ensures his memory is kept alive. Last year, the family painted memory stones and placed them in local areas. This year, the family wanted to do something extra special whilst also raising much-needed funds for the charity that supported Blake and his family from his diagnosis and still now, through the grief of living without him – Candlelighters.

Throughout November, Blake’s family members were extremely busy creating a limited number of bespoke Christmas tree baubles. These baubles are all wooden peg people and have all been individually hand-painted, varnished and provided with a ‘Because of Blake’ ribbon. The family sold the baubles in packs which each included one Christmas related bauble and one Blake related bauble – inspired by Blake’s loves and likes and beautiful memories.

Creating the baubles took time and patience but brought happiness in the fact that the family are doing it for Blake and helping other families who are dealing with childhood cancer.

Blake’s family would have normally met up to create the baubles but due to COVID, everyone painted the baubles in the comfort of their own homes whilst sharing ideas and completed baubles through a WhatsApp group.’ – words by Blake’s mum.

We would like to give enormous thanks to Blake’s family for fundraising for Candlelighters, and for sharing their story. The baubles they have made are absolutely beautiful and every penny will help us to continue supporting families across Yorkshire. We think you are absolutely incredible.

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