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Grantham family's appeal to help raise money for New Zealand boy with leukaemia



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A Grantham family is appealing for help to raise money for a young boy in their family whose leukaemia has relapsed.

Sarah Bailey, who is aunt to seven-year-old Lucas Richards, is appealing for help to raise money for him and his family in New Zealand as he has been diagnosed with Leukaemia (T-cell Acute Lymphoblastic) for a second time.

Sarah's brother Sean Richards, who is Lucas's father, was born in Grantham but moved to New Zealand in 2004.

Lucas (left) with his dad Sean, (middle left), mum Melanie (middle right) and sister Ruby (right). (58366163)
Lucas (left) with his dad Sean, (middle left), mum Melanie (middle right) and sister Ruby (right). (58366163)

He is fundraising to raise money for his son, and his remaining family in Grantham are joining him in his efforts.

Sarah said: "He [Lucas] is a little sweetheart.

"He is so full of energy, with as much as energy as he can have.

Sean with his family who still live in Grantham. (58366252)
Sean with his family who still live in Grantham. (58366252)

"He's an outdoorsy person and that is the New Zealand life."

Sarah and her parents Penny and Eddie Richards, have physically never met Lucas as he was born in New Zealand, but they are in frequent contact with him over Skype and Facetime.

Sean and his family, which includes Lucas, wife Melanie and daughter Ruby, were due to travel to Grantham next year, however now that Lucas has relapsed that journey has been postponed.

Lucas dreams of being a farmer when he is older. (58366202)
Lucas dreams of being a farmer when he is older. (58366202)
Lucas dreams of being a farmer when he is older. (58366186)
Lucas dreams of being a farmer when he is older. (58366186)

Lucas was first diagnosed with leukaemia on March 15, 2017, and two years ago he went into remission.

Three weeks ago, the family all suffered with Covid including Lucas, but Lucas experienced odd symptoms compared to the others.

After going to the doctors, they found out his leukaemia had returned.

Lucas and his dad Sean Richards. (58366290)
Lucas and his dad Sean Richards. (58366290)

Sarah added: "He was trying to catch up with normal life.

"He had weakness in his legs so he's been strengthening his legs."

Lucas now has to undergo two weeks of intense chemotherapy to have a fighting chance of receiving a bone marrow transplant.

His mother Melanie has had to quit work and his father Sean has to take unpaid leave from work to travel to Christchurch Hospital, where Lucas is being treated, from their home in Timaru.

Lucas who has been diagnosed with leukaemia for a second time. (58366213)
Lucas who has been diagnosed with leukaemia for a second time. (58366213)

Sean said: "The money raised, will help to keep our beautiful family together.

"He hates that he is so sick, and dreams of growing up and being a farmer.

"Our heartfelt thanks to everyone for any help of donations made to make this ride as smooth as possible.

"We are absolutely devastated to be on this awful journey with leukaemia once again and watching our dear little boy fight cancer.

"Although Lucas's odds of beating this leukaemia this time around are significantly slimmer, we are still holding onto that glimmer of hope he will get into remission and be able to have a stem cell and bone marrow transplant.

"That is the ultimate goal for his recovery."

If you would like to donate to fund to support Lucas and his family, you can help at https://givealittle.co.nz/cause/love-and-support-for-lucas-and-his-beautiful?fbclid=IwAR27QpE7QmQWbgHAA1pcS66YWUxk4U0zfy9f-f6vANoIj34wyXctEhs8_w8.

So far, over $7,000 has been raised for Lucas.



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