Florence campaign raises £300,000 for cancer treatment in US

    GENEROSITY Florence (right) and her sister Charlotte thank the donors

    FLO’S FIGHT, the campaign to raise money for two-year-old Florence Jackson’s cancer treatment, has reached £300,000 – and the funds keep rolling in.

    Parents Carolyn and Rodney Jackson, from Speldhurst, need the money in order to afford medical care in the United States which is not available in the UK.

    It took just 11 days to raise the original target of £250,000 thanks to crowdfunding, widescale support on social media and events held across the region.

    Typical of the fundraising events was the Wild Child dance night staged on Saturday at Salomons. It was organised by Laura Swann and Natalie Mcilveen from Mums the Word and generated £17,077. More than 300 people paid £15 a ticket for the night that included a silent and live auction.

    Afterwards the pair told the Times: “It was a great community event, with everyone donating their time, efforts and services for free, all in aid of an amazing cause. The event just shows what great things can be achieved when everyone pulls together.”

    Florence was diagnosed with stage four neuroblastoma at the age of 16 months in December 2015, and is being cared for at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, Surrey.

    DETERMINED Carolyn and Rodney Jackson with Florence and Charlotte
    DETERMINED Carolyn and Rodney Jackson with Florence and Charlotte

    The Jacksons’ campaign has been remarkably well supported since it was launched last month with around 10,000 donors contributing from all over the UK – including one anonymous gift of £45,000.

    Notts County Football Club featured Flo’s Fight on the front cover of its programme for the match on January 28, with £2 from every sale going towards the fund. The Plush Addict fabric store in Peterborough raised £6,800.

    And Flo’s sister Charlotte managed to raise over £1,000 in one day at Speldhurst Primary School for a non-uniform day.

    ‘It just shows what great things can be achieved when everyone pulls together’

    “The news that our precious little girl had cancer came as a complete body blow,” Mr Jackson said. “But we were determined that this was one fight that cancer wasn’t going to win.”

    Florence underwent 20 rounds of chemotherapy, major surgery, a stem cell transplant, five weeks of radiotherapy and immunotherapy treatment.

    “Sadly, our hopes that Florence could soon start enjoying a life free of cancer were cruelly dashed last November.

    “A routine CT scan showed that the tumour was growing again, despite everything that had been thrown at it.

    “And a recent follow-up scan in January has shown that the tumour has spread into her stomach and has wrapped around her blood vessels.

    Mr Jackson added: “The doctors have told us the tumour is too dangerous to remove and there’s nothing more they can do. But we can. And we will.”

    They will now travel to New York where a leading cancer surgeon, Dr Michael La Quaglia, will operate on Florence.

    If you would like to make a donation, visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/Flosfight