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

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 …
Champ’s Christmas Raffle has been Drawn!
17-12-20Our stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
As of this morning, we can confirm the winning numbers of Champ’s Christmas Raffle 2020! They are… 1st prize – 5006850 2nd prize – 5007500 3rd prize – 5094100 4th prize – 5088026 5th prize – 5092864   Thanks again to everyone who entered and congratulations to our lucky winners! Thanks to all of your …
Thank You Once Again to The Susie P Foundation
01-12-20Our stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
We are delighted to have received a grant of £2,000 from The Susie P Charitable Foundation, who are a continued supporter of Candlelighters. This grant will provide a Candlelighters Christmas Grant for 20 families. We know how difficult this year has been for many of our families and how this year more than ever, Christmas …
Company of the Month… Mowgli!
29-10-20Our stories • Posted by Sean Donnelly
This month’s Company of the Month is Mowgli! Mowgli chose to start supporting Candlelighters in early 2020 at their newly opened Leeds restaurant on Boar Lane. Mowgli already has restaurants in Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield among other cities, the Leeds restaurant was due to open in March however this had to be postponed due to …

Your stories

Tails in the Dales!
17-12-20Your stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
We spoke to Ian Broadbent, author of children’s book series, ‘Tails in the Dales’, which follow the adventures of Charlie the dog, on his farm. Ian has very kindly decided to donate the profits from the sale of his books to Candlelighters and we are incredibly grateful! Read on to find out more about Ian …
Meet Elijah and his family.
07-12-20Your stories • Posted by Sean Donnelly
Meet Elijah and his family. Here is his Mum, Lauren to tell you a little about their cancer journey and how your donations have helped to support their family.  ‘We were first introduced to Candlelighters on Ward 31, when my son Elijah was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma at 19 months old in July 2016 and they …
Fundraising Story – B.O.B.’s Baubles
04-12-20Your stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
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 …
Rhian’s Story
26-11-20Your stories • Posted by Sean Donnelly
‘Hi everyone, I’m Julie, Mum to Rhian and Keeley.  Rhian was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) shortly after her 5th birthday in 2015. She completed her treatment in August 2017 and was clear of cancer for 20 months. She sadly relapsed in April 2019 and then during her treatment for this relapse, she relapsed …
Hello everyone, my name is Ellen, I’m 58-year-old grandma or Mama Ell to Isla & Max.
20-11-20Your stories • Posted by Sean Donnelly
Hello everyone, my name is Ellen, I’m 58-year-old grandma or Mama Ell to Isla & Max. I live in Wakefield and have two lovely daughters Rachel & Elizabeth and an amazing son in law Matthew. Sadly my husband died April 2018 he was a devoted and very special grandad to Isla & Max… when Isla …