‘Little star’ Olivia inspires cancer fund-raising

Sharon Darby and four-year-old Olivia Clark.
Sharon Darby and four-year-old Olivia Clark.
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A BRAVE little girl diagnosed with leukaemia is helping to raise hundreds of pounds to help other desperate families.

Sharon Darby, 24, of Tennyson Avenue, Grantham, was devastated when her four-year-old daughter Olivia was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in June.

But after seeing the effect of the disease on children and how bravely Olivia has been fighting, Sharon and her family rallied round to raise money for the specialist E38 Ward where she has been receiving treatment at Queen’s Medical Centre .

Sharon said: “Matalan in Grantham organised a raffle to raise money for the NSPCC and Ward E38. They are also holding a collection until December 31.

“The raffle made £700 for Olivia’s ward, which I think is absolutely amazing. I’m so grateful to the public and to the staff at Matalan for doing it.

“Next year I am going to do something personal to raise money and to give something back.”

Earlier this year, Sharon noticed Olivia was unwell but struggled to convince doctors anything was wrong.

She said: “She was having trouble walking and had pain in her joints. We took her to A&E 10 times but kept being told there was nothing wrong.

“Eventually she was sent for tests and diagnosed in June. Her sister was only nine days old at the time and I was devastated.”

Olivia is currently on an intensive treatment of chemotherapy along with steroids.

She has been unable to walk since July and the family have been told not to travel over Christmas in case Olivia needs emergency treatment.

Sharon said: “She is responding well to treatment and the last time we spoke to the consultant he said she was doing better than even he expected, so that is reassuring.

“She has her good and her bad days but she never stops smiling. She is a little star - we all call her Queen Olivia in the family.”

Sharon would particularly like to thank Jo Crawford, Yasmine Lorne and Leslie from Matalan for all their fund-raising help.