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

Introducing the Nominees: Company Colleague of the Year
29-08-18Our stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
Chloe Cross   Reception Manager Chloe Cross is the reason Candlelighters became Sky Betting & Gaming Charity this year. Her willingness to make a difference took her out of comfort zone in December 2017 when she stood up in front of peers and delivered an emotional pitch for Candlelighters, that later inspired hundreds of employees …
Introducing the Nominees: Event of the Year!
23-08-18Our stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
Introducing the next award category nominees: Event of the Year! These amazing nominees have organised outstanding innovative, creative and challenging events to support Candlelighters. Bank of England Following the launch of the new £10 note in September, various Jane Austen notes with low or special serial numbers were auctioned for charity in October last year. The auction, …
Introducing the Nominees: Fundraising Innovation Award
23-08-18Our stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
Introducing the next award category nominees: Fundraising Innovation Award!  These amazing nominees have come up with new and interesting ways to raise funds and awareness. We want to recognise them for thinking outside the box and utilisting their unique skills to support Candlelighters.   Pig & Pastry Julia and Steve Holding decided to do something …
Introducing the Nominees: Team Effort
20-08-18Our stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
Introducing the next award category nominees: Team Effort of the Year!  These groups have worked hard thorough out the year both fundraising, raising awareness and supporting Candlelighters. Here is some more information about each of the nominees: Leeds RAG  The Leeds RAG undertook their Pedal to Prague challenge, cycling from Leeds to Prague in June …

Your stories

Company donates a good night’s sleep for families
23-08-18Your stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
  Cleckheaton based company, Duvalay, have generously donated 10 of their most comfortable mattresses to the Candlelighters Cottage, due to open in October. The Cottage will provide home from home accommodation near to Leeds Children’s Hospital; enabling families to stay together whilst a child is undergoing inpatient treatment. For many parents sleeping in a chair …
Introducing the Nominees: Above & Beyond Effort of the Year
13-08-18Your stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
With The Candlelighters Awards slowly approaching, we would like to introduce you to our amazing shortlisted nominees – this feature focussed on the ‘Above & Beyond Effort of the Year’ category. Words can’t describe how much these people have done for Candlelighters over the past year but we will give it our best shot.   Adrian …
The Lindsey’s scale Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis in just six days!
09-08-18Your stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
The Lindsey Family decided to in their words ‘having a crack at climbing Snowdon, Scafell Pike and Ben Nevis (the highest mountains in Wales, England and Scotland respectively) in 6 days.’ Graham Lindsey the family’s father said: “We might not manage it all but we’ll give it a good go because we want to raise …
Calverley Golf Club’s Charity of the Year raises over £7,000
08-08-18Your stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
Lee Dane and his wife Emma, who live in Bradford chose Candlelighters are their charity to support this year. Lee is Captain at Calverley Golf Club and he wanted to support a local children’s charity, after reading what Candlelighters do they themselves a target to raise £5,000 through various events from January 2018 until the …
Shannen-Keelie will be shaving her head for Candlelighters and donating her hair to The Little Princess Trust.
07-08-18Your stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
Shannen-Keelie, of Keyingham, gave birth to Charleen Clifton on July 23rd 2015. Unbeknown to them at the time, Charleen was born with Infantile Fibrosarcoma, diagnosed aged just 3 months after her Grandma noticed a lump on her leg. Infantile Fibrosarcoma is a tissue tumour, with a percentage of 1 individual diagnosed every 4 to 7 …
Welcome back RAG Prague
06-08-18Your stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
We would like to welcome back the Leeds RAG’s Pedal to Prague team from their trip. They have now completed the challenge and raised £26,638.99! When returning to the UK the leaders all agreed that it was one of the hardest but most fun challenges they had ever done. They (and we) are so proud …