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

Candlelighters’ support bus kicks off 2017 with weekly visits across Yorkshire
18-01-17Our stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
After a successful string of trial visits across Yorkshire in Autumn last year, the Candlelighters Bus will now regularly be visiting spots around the region- and we want to invite every family affected by childhood cancer (both currently, and in the past) to join us at our organised locations. Initially launched at the Candlelighters Awards …
Ilkley Candlelighters £38K total to go to research projects
21-12-16Our stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
The Candlelighters Award-winning fundraising group, Ilkley Candlelighters, have truly worked their socks off this year by raising an incredible £38,000. Candlelighters Charity Director, Jo Shepheard, met up with the committee last week to accept a cheque for the total amount. This funding will go towards ensuring the continuation and growth of key research projects into …
Who won the Candlelighters Christmas Raffle?
20-12-16Our stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
On Tuesday 20th December at midday, we were joined at The Square by ‘Captain America’ who valiantly drew the winning tickets, before kindly visiting children on the ward round the corner at Leeds General Infirmary. The winning tickets are as follows: 1.) £500 worth of Toyland Toyshop toys: TICKET NO. 101404 2.) A one-night stay …
Meet York Candlelighters!
09-12-16Our stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
We are delighted to say that the York Candlelighters fundraising group has now been officially established! At the Candlelighters Awards in September, several award winners and nominees from the York area had a conversation about getting together as a group. Within a month, York Candlelighters was formed! The group is a great mix of talented …
Harrogate Candlelighters break record with Casino Royale Ball
14-10-16Our stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
Congratulations to the incredible Harrogate Candlelighters committee for breaking their fundraising record through the organisation of their 2016 ball. The ball, which took place in The Crown Hotel in Harrogate, was Casino Royale themed and raised £42,375. The committee, who recently won a special recognition award at the Candlelighters Awards, would like to thank main …

Your stories

Leeds fans are Marching on Together for Candlelighters
07-02-17Your stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
We’d like to say a huge thank you to Sean Etherington, and the team at his regular, the Hope Inn Pub, who are helping run a charity event partially in aid of Candlelighters. All the proceeds will be split equally between Candlelighters and Sean’s friend Mark, to support him while he is unable to work due to …
Be inspired by 10 year old Ella’s Year of Challenges
27-01-17Your stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
What an amazing total from Ella’s Year of Challenges! Since finishing treatment, Ella has immersed herself in various challenges to raise money for Candlelighters, and has raised an astounding £3864.54. And she didn’t do it alone! She was supported by brother Edward, mum Jane and dad Chris, and between them, they have embarked on various …
South East Asia Cycle Success for Supporter Jo
27-01-17Your stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
Back in September, we told you all about the story of Jo Richardson and the preparations she was making for her cycling challenge in South East Asia in November. Jo set herself the target of cycling from Vietnam to Cambodia (in intense heat and humidity!) to raise money for Candlelighters, after we supported her friend Eve …
Walker Morris off to a flying start fundraising for Candlelighters
25-11-16Your stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
We were recently delighted to hear that Leeds-based commercial law firm, Walker Morris, had chosen to support us as their ‘Charity of the Year’. Only weeks in, the team have already participated in the Abbey Dash in Leeds, raised money through a Halloween-themed Day… and they’re about the launch their Christmas Raffle! And they haven’t stopped …
Leeds company raise £2,000 from sponsored 21-mile row for Candlelighters
21-10-16Your stories • Posted by Elli Pugh
Food Industry Associates were recently delighted to break the £2000 mark in their incredible rowing fundraiser for Candlelighters. In their words, hear about their achievement.   Leeds based company Food Industry Associates took on a demanding 21-mile row on Friday in aid of Yorkshire’s children’s cancer charity, Candlelighters.   Food Industry Associates, who recruit sales …