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Love4Leah campaign aims for holiday home for ill children

By Leek Post and Times  |  Posted: December 20, 2013

By Belinda Hargreaves

Leah with her younger brother Marek in August 2012.

Leah with her younger brother Marek in August 2012.

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THE mother of a teenager who lost her battle with cancer is aiming to raise enough money to purchase and run a holiday home for youngsters with the disease.

Leah Powell, of Nab Hill Avenue, Leek, passed away in July after losing her battle with the Rhabdomyosarcoma, which she had been diagnosed with last summer.

Throughout her battle, Leah, with the help of with her mum Jane and other family members and friends, had raised more than £10,000 for charity through the Love4Leah Campaign.

Since Leah passed away, Jane and her family have continued to raise funds for the organisations which looked after Leah through her illness.

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So far Love4Leah has raised more than £25,000 which has been split between Rays of Sunshine, Macmillan Nurses, Ronald Macdonald House, the Donna Louise hospice, and Ward 84 at Manchester Children's Hospital.

Now Jane, aged 43, has told the Post & Times that she is now aiming to raise enough money to be able to purchase a suitable property within the Staffordshire Moorlands to offer young cancer patients and their families a home-from-home holiday.

Jane said: "We feel that we have done our bit for all the organisations that helped us and Leah.

"However, we will be continuing to raise the funds needed to sponsor one of the rooms at Ronald Macdonald House in Leah's name.

"The idea of purchasing a holiday home came after a disastrous holiday we had as a family. We ended up having to buy so many things but then just leave them in the static caravan - things like salt and pepper, a dish cloth, and ketchup.

"I want to kit the holiday home out with all these things so that parents don't have the stress about having to remember everything. As a parent of an ill child you have so many things like medicines to remember as it is.

"I will also be making sure it is accessible for wheelchairs."

Jane knows it is going to take some time in raising the money to buy such a property. She said: "We know we are going to need at least £100,000 to just buy a building.

"I would ideally like the holiday home to be in Rudyard as it is such a lovely scenic village.

"I will be calling it something like Butterfly Lodge or Butterfly Cottage, depending on what type of building it is.

"Butterflies have become quite symbolic to me since Leah passed away."

Jane added that she has been overwhelmed by the support she and her family have had through the Love4Leah campaign.

She said: "There has been so many individuals and organisations which have helped to raise the money and I would like to thank them all."

The organisations which have raised money recently for Love4Leah include Leek Snooker Club, Woodcroft Women's Institute, Blitz Eighties Night, Beauty By Jana, Bury & Hilton and Central Club.

Jane, herself, and a team of friends also recently raised more than £4,000 after taking part in a Fright Hike.

Jane, who has three other children, added that she feels there should be more awareness made about childhood cancer.

She said: "December is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month, but not many people know that.

"I think it should be moved to September so that it's not at a time when everyone is thinking about Christmas instead.

"There is currently 10,000 children under the age of 14 years old who are going through treatment for cancer. There needs to be a lot more awareness about the symptoms parents need to look out for. This can be found on the Cancer Research UK website."

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