Our Christmas Appeal

When a child is diagnosed with cancer, it becomes more important than ever to spend time together as a family, make memories, and have some fun and escapism from the day-to-day reality.

Every year, Candlelighters provides a very special Christmas party for children with cancer and their families. There are costumes and characters, meet and greets with Santa, presents, food, music, games, and lots of happiness and fun. All of this helps to make Christmas truly magical for children with cancer. Our Christmas party is cherished by families for providing an opportunity to spend precious time together, make memories, and for children to enjoy the wonder of Christmas.

This year, we’re holding the first Christmas party since before the pandemic. 14-year-old Daniel and his family attended the last Candlelighters Christmas party in 2019. Daniel’s mum, Emma, said it was a ‘perfect day’.

Daniel lives in Todmorden with his parents and four siblings Rian, Erin, Ava, and Noah. In 2018 he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. A surgery to remove the tumour was successful but less than a year later he was diagnosed with a further two brain tumours requiring further surgery, radiotherapy, and chemotherapy. Soon after starting treatment, Daniel was diagnosed with Li Fraumeni syndrome, a rare genetic disorder which increases the risk of developing cancer. Emma describes Daniel’s diagnosis as ‘life-shattering’ for their family and through his treatment he had to brave sight loss, a seizure, paralysation, being unable to speak or walk, and terrible mouth ulcers and sores which prevented eating and swallowing.

Daniel and his family attended our Christmas party the day after he finished his treatment. Emma says, ‘We had the most wonderful day together as a family, with everyone from Candlelighters there too. We had only seen the team on the ward and in clinic, usually when Daniel was at his worst, so it was fantastic to see everyone in a happier environment.’

Arriving at the party they were greeted by Storm Troopers and Ewoks which ‘Put a huge smile on everyone’s faces, and the smiles continued throughout the day!’ according to Emma.

Emma continued, ‘We caught up with many of the other families that we had met and spent a lot of time with on the ward and there was so much going on to entertain the children including sweets, dancing, face painting and games.’

‘At the time we still had no idea if Daniel’s treatment had worked, so it was a day to make memories, all the time in the back of our minds that this could potentially be our last Christmas all together. All the children got the most thoughtful presents, and we got my most favourite photo of us all together with Father Christmas. I can honestly say it was a perfect day.’

Daniel is now almost three years post-treatment and is doing well. Every year, Candlelighters attempts to make Christmas as magical as possible for children like Daniel and their families. It’s these happy memories which last a lifetime and give children an escape from cancer, just for a while. It costs £25 to send a child to our Christmas party. This year, we’re asking supporters for your help to make Christmas magical for children with cancer by funding a child’s Christmas party place. If you’d like to support us in doing this, you can make a donation here.

Our stories

Talking Brain Tumour Research with Ryan Mathew
08-03-21Our stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
Candlelighters has funded research into the understanding and treatment of childhood cancers for 30 years. Academic neurosurgeon, Ryan Mathew, has been supported by Candlelighters since 2018, as part of a four year funding programme to enhance brain tumour research. Ryan qualified as a doctor in 2005 from the University of Leeds. Following hispassions of neurosurgery …
Ralph’s Story
05-03-21Our stories • Posted by Sean Donnelly
Ralph was diagnosed with T-Cell Lymphoma at the age of six. It was a complete and utter shock to the whole family as Ralph had always been a very healthy little boy. He had been unwell with suspected tonsillitis for a few weeks. We’d been back and forth to our GP and an overnight stay …
Our February 2021 Company of the Month is… FluidIT Consulting!
26-02-21Our stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
We are delighted to announce that our February 2021 Company of the Month is FluidIT Consulting! FluidIT began supporting Candlelighters last year, in response to our pandemic appeal and promptly became members of Candlelighters ‘Team 500’, by making a donation of £500. The team were keen to support in other ways too and decided that …
Charlie’s Story
24-02-21Our stories • Posted by Sean Donnelly
We are a family of four. Dad Phil, mum Shelley, Charlie age six and Max age two. Charlie was diagnosed with Langerhans cell histiocytosis (LCH) in April 2017 before his 3rd birthday. We had no idea that this condition existed until a skin biopsy on his groin area confirmed the LCH. Prior to this, we …
Candlelighters draws attention to cause on International Childhood Cancer Day
15-02-21Our stories • Posted by Sean Donnelly
Monday 15th February is International Childhood Cancer Day, a day when people all around the world come together to observe and recognise the impacts of childhood cancer. In #Yorkshire, over 150 children will be diagnosed with cancer each year and childhood cancer charity, Candlelighters has been there for over 40 years to offer support to …
International Day of Women and Girls in Science
11-02-21Our stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
11-02-2021 Did you know today is International Day of Women and Girls in Science? To mark the occasion, we spoke to Dr Jess Morgan who, with funding from Candlelighters, recently undertook research which will help children and young people with cancer to spend less time in hospital and more time at home… ‘Hello, my name …
Company of the Month… Barratt Developments!
25-01-21Our stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
Our company of the month for January – the first company of the month of 2021 is… Barratt Developments!   The brilliant Barratt Developments Yorkshire West has supported Candlelighters since 2018, raising over £30,000 during this time. The onset of COVID-19 meant many of their planned events were cancelled. These included their flagship golf day …
Company of the month… CDS!
21-12-20Our stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
Our company of the month for December – the final company of the month of 2020 is… CDS!   CDS first began supporting Candlelighters at the beginning of 2020 after choosing Candlelighters as their next charity of the year. The CDS team began the year with big plans and high hopes of raising £5,000 for …

Your stories

Jonathan’s Ten Million Steps in 2021!
26-02-21Your stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
Today we’d like to share Jonathan’s story. Jonathan has set himself an incredible challenge – to walk ten million steps during 2021. This goal works out at a staggering average of 27,397 steps every day (approximately 13 miles!) for 365 days. Jonathan is raising funds for both Candlelighters and The Fire Fighters Charity. Here’s why… …
Rupert Rows the Atlantic for Candlelighters!
12-02-21Your stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
We’re excited to share an incredible supporter story with you – that of Rupert Fenby. Having just finished his A-levels, Rupert, along with eleven others will be rowing across the Atlantic Ocean to raise funds for Candlelighters in March 2021. Rupert said, ‘I will be one of the youngest people to have rowed across the …