We’d like to say a huge thank you to the incredible Eleanor and her mum, Emily. In summer 2020, ten year old Eleanor was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia and paroxysmal nocturnal haemoglobinuria, two very rare haematological disorders, requiring a bone marrow transplant. Eleanor and her mum are originally from Cambridge, but Eleanor received her bone marrow transplant at Leeds Children’s Hospital (a leading centre for this treatment) and was required to stay in hospital for up to two months, in complete isolation. 
 
During this time, Eleanor and Emily were able to access some of our support on the wards through the playworker roles that Candlelighters funds which helped to keep Eleanor entertained, and through our Family Support Workers, who were there to help with things like laundry, a general chat, and making sure both were comfortable and had all they needed. Having to travel such a long way from home, Emily and Eleanor were also able to stay in our home-away-from-home accommodation, The Cottage, for an appointment prior to being admitted to hospital. 
 
Incredibly, whilst in isolation after her procedure, Eleanor and Emily decided to raise funds for Candlelighters as thanks for the support they had received, as well as for a charity that supported them closer to home in Cambridge – Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust. As they had been provided with an exercise bike within their room, the pair had the idea to ‘cycle’ the 250km journey from Leeds Children’s Hospital, back to their home in Cambridge. 
 
Initially setting the target to raise £250 for both Candlelighters and Addenbrooke’s Charitable Trust, ‘Team Eleanor’ absolutely smashed this – raising nearly £8,500 to be split between the two charities. We are so, so grateful for their incredible fundraising and think Eleanor is a true inspiration. 
 
Eleanor said, “Candlelighters were so kind and friendly and I loved it when they visited us”.  With mum, Emily adding, “Without Candlelighters, our time in hospital would have been so much harder to cope with, and it is great to be able to help them support other families in the future.”

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