A MUM devastated by the death of her only child has teamed up with a schoolgirl successfully treated on the same ward to help save lives in the future.
Heather Baker, 16, lost her 18-month battle with acute lymphatic lymphoma, a form of leukaemia, in October 2009 after developing an infection.
During her time spent undergoing treatment at the region’s specialist teenage cancer ward, the Roker youngster forged a friendship with fellow cancer sufferer Kellsie Scott who was diagnosed with Burkitt’s lyphoma and leukaemia.
Kellsie, 13, from Pennywell, has since recovered but has joined forces with Heather’s mum Lynne to raise funds for the Royal Victoria Infirmary in Newcastle.
She will be attending a fund-raising event held in Roker on June 25, the day before what would have been Heather’s 18th birthday.
Lynne, 41, said: “The girls were in hospital together when Kellsie had first started treatment. As parents you seem to bounce off each other, but the teenagers seem to cope with it really well.
“Kellsie was worried about losing her hair, but Heather talked to her about it and tried to make it funny for her. It’s lovely to see Kellsie now and see how much she has changed since she was ill.”
Last month Kellsie helped to shave off her aunt Joanne Clucas’s hair, which raised £550. This amount will now be added to funds raised by Heather’s birthday.
Lynne added: “Last year we had a balloon release on Heather’s birthday and this year we wanted to do something special for her 18th.
“Organising events such as this helps gives you a focus and it’s for such a good cause.”
Joanne, 34, who lives with Kellsie, said: “Kellsie was really worried when she started losing her hair but Heather told her not to be frightened, that she was still beautiful, and that everyone was the same on the ward.
“She took Kellsie under her wing and was fantastic with her. Heather stepped up to the mark to answer questions that we couldn’t help Kellsie with.”
Those who knew Heather will be invited to the event and asked to bring along birthday cards with a message of what they would say to Heather along with a donation for the Toma Fund, which raises money for the Teenage Cancer Unit at the RVI.
Heather’s family are also looking for individuals and businesses to donate raffle prizes for the evening no matter how big or small.
* Anyone interested in donating a prize, can contact Lynne on 07843 919620.