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 at 45 – Research
23-09-21Our stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
Did you know over our 45-year history, we’ve been involved in many childhood cancer research programmes and projects? In the last 20 years alone, we’ve invested over £9m into research to improve the lives and outcomes of children with cancer. In 1992, Professor Sue Burchill became the first scientist to be fully funded by Candlelighters …
Company of the Month… Slumberdown!
23-09-21Our stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
We’re pleased to announce that our August Company of the Month is Slumberdown! Slumberdown have supported Candlelighters since early 2021 when they initially joined our Team 500 – helping to bring in vital funds needed to continue our services through the COVID-19 pandemic. Since then, Slumberdown have been keen supporters, using and sharing their resources …
Candlelighters GO GOLD for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month Press Release
16-09-21Our stories • Posted by Becky Pearey
Candlelighters aims to raise funds and awareness this September for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month (CCAM). #ChildhoodCancerAwarenessMonth takes place in September each year. At Candlelighters, along with many other children’s cancer charities across the globe, the charity marks CCAM each year to help increase the awareness of childhood cancers, as well as the work they do …
Happy International Paediatric Oncology Nurses Day!
08-09-21Our stories • Posted by Sean Donnelly
Today we recognise International Paediatric Oncology Nurses Day and celebrate all of the Nurses working in the Paediatric Haematology & Oncology service at Leeds Children’s Hospital & Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. There are numerous Nurses working in the department in many locations and in different roles. Here at #Candlelighters, we work very closely with …
Well done Amy and Chris!
25-08-21Our stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
At Candlelighters we’re so lucky to have an amazing team across all areas of our charity, from family support, to fundraising, to HR, to finance and corporate services, to name a few! These brilliant people try their hardest every day, live the Candlelighters values and each and every role makes a difference to families affected …
Company of the Month… Skipton Building Society!
20-08-21Our stories • Posted by Gaby Stead
We’re delighted to announce our company of the month for July is Skipton Building Society! The Business Partnering – Finance & Strategy team at Skipton Building Society recently completed their fantastic ‘Tokyo or Bust!’ challenge; walking the distance of Skipton to Tokyo, finishing before the start of the Olympics on 23rd July. For the group …
Candlelighters’ Annual General Meeting
18-08-21Our stories • Posted by Candlelighters Marketing
You’re invited to our Annual General Meeting Taking place on: Wednesday 29th September 2021. Time: 6.00pm – 6.30pm Option to attend in person or via Zoom (a link to the Zoom meeting will be sent out on 27th September 2021). Strictly RSVP to Lucy at [email protected] by 15th September 2021 or call 0113 887 8333. …

Your stories

Supporter Spotlight: Kingswood Dearne Valley
13-09-21Your stories • Posted by Becky Pearey
We were thrilled to announce the return of our annual Sibling Residential trip this year, to Kingswood Dearne Valley. This trip is for all of our siblings to have a fun time, enjoy being children and make special friendships with other siblings who have been affected by childhood cancer. They had lots and lots of …
Supporter Spotlight: Lyke Wake Walk
13-09-21Your stories • Posted by Becky Pearey
We’d like to say an enormous thank you to a brilliant group of people who recently completed the Lyke Wake Walk across the North Yorkshire Moors, in support of Tom who was diagnosed with glioblastoma over Christmas last year. Tom’s cousin, Harriet, who organised the walk said, ‘When Tom was diagnosed it was the middle …
Supporter Spotlight: Heart & Sole
13-09-21Your stories • Posted by Becky Pearey
A wonderful group of 26 inspirational ladies dubbed ‘Heart & Sole’ from Harrogate, recently walked the distance of a marathon in and around the Harrogate area to raise funds for Candlelighters. Charlotte Broadwith, who organised the event, was inspired after hearing how the pandemic had negatively impacted community fundraising for many charities. She said, ‘Candlelighters is …