Sister of Josie King launches fundraiser in her memory to buy Christmas presents for children suffering from cancer

The sister of a teenage sibling who tragically lost her life to a rare form of cancer is raising money to purchase Christmas presents for children at Newcastle RVI’s Children’s Cancer Ward.

Thursday, 28th October 2021, 5:00 am

Josie King was diagnosed with Ewing sarcoma – a type of bone cancer - when she was 13-years-old. After initially believing she was clear, the cancer sadly returned and Josie, who loved boxing and caring for animals, passed away on July 12, 2018 at the age of just 15.

Now sister Jessica King, 25, has organised an online raffle to raise money in her sister’s memory to support other children going through similar battles to those Josie faced.

She said: “Josie found a lump on her leg which turned out to be the size of a bottle of coke. She had an operation but unfortunately the cancer returned and spread all over her body.”

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Josie King (centre) with her sister Jessica King and mum Donna Doneathy. Josie sadly died from cancer in 2018, but Jessica is now raising money to buy Christmas presents for children at Newcastle RVI's Children's Cancer Ward.

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Josie, from Thorney Close and a former Sandhill View Academy pupil, received much of her treatment at the RVI including during the days leading up to Christmas.

Jessica said: “One year Josie developed a temperature before Christmas. She was admitted to hospital but was fortunately allowed to go home the day before.”

However, seeing the care Josie received and witnessing firsthand the challenges children faced – many of whom had to remain in hospital over the festive period – Jessica felt compelled to do something to help make Christmas more enjoyable for children on the Cancer Ward.

Josie King, pictured at home, sadly passed away from a rare form of cancer in 2018 at the age of just 15.

She added: “I remember what we went through and saw what other families were dealing with over Christmas. It’s hard when you experience it firsthand. They’re just children and shouldn’t have to go through this.

"If providing these presents can put a smile on children’s faces and allow them to forget, even if just for a minute, what they are going through, then it will have been all worth while.”

To raise the target of £1,500, Jessica and Josie’s friend, Ellie Lynn, 18, used social media to advertise their fundraiser to local businesses to obtain donated prizes to raffle off.

Josie King at home over Christmas which was "one of her favourite times of the year".

They were inundated with offers of support including a £200 beauty package from Goldilooks in Pennywell, a free MOT from Houghton MOT centre, a car valet from CW Auto Clean and free meals from Bellissimo Pizza.

Houghton Boxing Gym also donated £100.

To raise an additional £500, Jessica has challenged herself to do 100 squats every day in November and has set up a JustGiving page for donations.

She said: “We’ve had a brilliant response from local businesses. We’ave already raised £500 and we still have 20 more donations to raffle.”

Josie King with friend Ellie Lynn who has helped to organise the fundraising inititiative.

Any additional money will be used to buy presents for children suffering from cancer but may not be in the RVI over the festive period.

Jessica added: “The plan is to also deliver presents to families’ homes. Josie would have loved this initiative. Christmas was one of her favourite times of year. She loved to help others and make people smile.

"The RVI’s Chidren’s Cancer Ward is such a deserving cause. They even have a penthouse full of toys for children to escape their worries. The way they treat families is amazing and the nurses really feel like they’re one of your family.”

Any business which would like to donate prizes should email [email protected]

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