Little cancer patient Ellis Edwards has just two wishes for Christmas.
One is to be close to his family again after spending a whole month in isolation during his ninth agonising round of chemotherapy.
And the other is that YOU will help stop cancer cancelling Christmases for brave children like him.
Today six-year-old Ellis and his family reveal how readers can help sufferers have family around them as they fight for life in hospitals miles from home.
It’s all thanks to special Homes From Home run by children’s cancer charity CLIC Sargent.
Ellis’s parents Carly and Andrew, both 37, live in Bournemouth – 33 miles from the Southampton hospital where their son is battling stage-4 aggressive neuroblastoma.
But they have been able to stay just a few minutes walk from him at Jean’s House – one of 10 Homes From Home across eight UK cities.
Money is being raised to build two new Home From Homes in Manchester and Newcastle – but even more are needed and we’ve teamed up to help with CLIC Sargent’s Christmas Appeal, in association with its campaign to Stop Cancer Cancelling Christmas.
Ellis’s parents and his brother William, four, will all celebrate together on Wednesday with a Christmas dinner in Jean’s House.
“Without CLIC Sargent’s help I don’t know how we’d have coped these past few months,” said Carly. “To have Christmas together in amazing facilities, for free, it means everything.”
Ellis said: “I can’t wait for Christmas at Jean’s House with my family.
“Please help CLIC Sargent to help other children with cancer have mums and dads close by.”
Carly told how the family’s world was torn apart when Ellis was diagnosed after losing weight rapidly.
He needed life-or-death surgery at Southampton General in October to remove a large tumour from a lung.
Carly said: “We were told we should say our goodbyes beforehand. As we waited, Andrew and I sat in silence on our bed at Jean’s House, an oasis of calm when we most needed it.”
Then came gruelling chemotherapy for the youngster, whose chances of survival are 50-50.
“Ellis was so sick that he couldn’t talk or open his eyes,” said Carly. “It was heartbreaking.”
“His survival is far from guaranteed but, for the first time in months, we feel positive. It can take an hour to travel each way from our home to see Ellis, so to be minutes away has been a lifeline,” she said.
“We have an amazing kitchen and a brilliant playroom for William.”
“We urge all Sunday Mirror readers to dig deep to help families like ours who are going through cancer journeys – literally every single pound makes a difference.”
How to donate
Just £5 can help stop cancer cancelling Christmas for young patients and their families – and the Morrisons Foundation will match readers’ donations pound for pound, up to a total of £25,000.
To donate £5 or more online, go to clicsargent.org.uk/xmas or make cheques payable to “CLIC Sargent” and send with your name and address to:
Sunday Mirror Christmas Appeal
126 Fairlie Road
Slough, SL1 4PY (Please use a stamp)
To donate by phone, call 0300 330 0803 (Monday – Friday, 8am-6pm).
Texts cost either £5, £10 or £20, plus one standard network rate message.
CLIC Sargent will receive 100% of your donation.
To opt out of calls, text NOCALL CLIC to 78866.
To opt out of SMS, text NOSMS CLIC to 78866.
Texts will be charged at your network’s standard message charge.
For queries, call CLIC Sargent on 0300 330 0803.
Registered charity number 1107328 and registered in Scotland SC039857.
Become a stamp champ
In the build-up to Christmas, CLIC Sargent is calling on Sunday Mirror readers to be a ‘stamp champ’ and collect used stamps to help raise funds.
Carefully cut yours out and send to: Stamp Champ, CLIC Sargent, Unit 6, Abbey Wood Business Park, Filton, Bristol, BS34 7JU.