Newham community raises thousands for girl, two, with neuroblastoma

PUBLISHED: 15:32 23 May 2017 | UPDATED: 15:32 23 May 2017

Isla Caton before her neuroblastoma diagnosis

Isla Caton before her neuroblastoma diagnosis

Nicola Caton

The family of a two-year-old girl with a rare form of cancer have thanked the Newham community, including the Recorder’s readers, for helping to raise nearly £14,000 to help save their daughter’s life.

Young people at Newham Boys Boxing Club completed a 45-minute sponsored skip in aid of Isla CatonYoung people at Newham Boys Boxing Club completed a 45-minute sponsored skip in aid of Isla Caton

Nicola Caton, who is from Stratford, said she and husband Michael Hook were “overwhelmed” by the support from readers who helped to raise the amount after Isla Caton’s story was featured in the Newham Recorder last week.

Isla has a deadly and aggressive cancer of the nervous system called neuroblastoma which has spread to her bones and bone marrow.

Her parents need to raise more than £190,000 for specialist treatment called immunotherapy in the US, which could potentially prevent the neuroblastoma returning once it is in remission.

Nicola said she was “surprised” at how many people had been touched by the story.

She said: “Thank you to all the readers and the local community for pulling together and helping us.

“We will always be grateful to everyone.”

She added: “We are absolutely overwhelmed by all the love, support and money that has been raised.

“We know it is a hard time and not everyone has a lot of money but we just so grateful for everything and anything that people can give.”

The mum-of-two also thanked members of Newham Boys Boxing Club in Church Road, Stratford, for raising £2,250 from a sponsored skip.

The boys aged between nine and 15 swapped their gloves for skipping ropes to complete a 45-minute skip in aid of Isla.

They were sponsored by their parents and friends, while the club’s owner Joe Chapman donated the space.

Event organiser Mark Smith said he was “really pleased” with the result, thanking “everyone who has been involved – all the children and parents”.

He added: “We are like a big family. Everyone knows everyone and we all look after one another.”

Nicola also thanked West Ham supporters at the Carpenters Arms’s for raising £450, Barbara Sewell of the Bay Tree pub for raising £1,300, Pat Duggan for raising £1,700 and Raymond Lee for raising £500.

Nicola’s brother Tony and his friend Stevie Taylor have separately raised £6,000 for the family to have a holiday together and a further £6,000 for Great Ormond Street Hospital where Isla is being treated.

The tot, who went in for her third round of chemotherapy last week, is said to be “doing really well” at the moment.

“Isla’s main tumour has been shrinking before our eyes,” Nicola said.

“We have been taking her to the park to make the most of the good weather.

“She is happy, and is walking and talking again.”

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