Cambourne community rallies around family of toddler Kendall who is battling cancer
Mum Kirsty felt a lump when Kendall was 15 months old.
The parents of an 18-month-old toddler diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer have told of the emotional and financial strain as the community rallied around to help them.
Kendall Julie Jolley was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare form of soft tissue cancer, in February after her mum Kirsty, 32, found a lump while changing her nappy.
Cambourne couple Kirsty and husband Ryan were warned that she may require expensive radiotherapy treatment in Florida. But thankfully the family learned last week that that won’t be necessary.
A family fun day at the Monkfield Arms pub in Great Cambourne on bank holiday Monday, organised by cousin Rebecca Marks and friend Laura Peat, was held to ease the financial burden facing the couple.
Mum Kirsty said: “Kendall has got a lot of treatment ahead of her, between nine to 18 months of chemotherapy.
“She’s had chemo already and we’ve been to Great Ormond Street Hospital as well. She has got to have surgery to remove the lump and have a stoma bag replaced.
“She will then have radiotherapy for three days, after which she will not be able to get out of bed, plus even more chemo after that.
“I was changing her nappy and I felt a lump and took her to the doctors who referred her to the hospital, and three weeks later she was diagnosed with cancer.
“I didn’t know how to feel, I just went absolutely numb and collapsed. I am trying to be positive and strong for my three-year-old boy Leighlan. My husband has broken down a lot and he is not working now.
“Kendall doesn’t understand what is going on and the hospital did think we might have to go to Florida for her radio treatment, depending on where her lump was, but it was confirmed last week that she doesn’t have to go to America. We would have had to live out there for two to three months.
“Addenbrooke’s Hospital has been absolutely amazing. I cannot fault them. They make you feel so welcome and Great Ormond Street were good as well.”
Hairdresser Kirsty works two days a week, while husband Ryan, a self-employed builder, has had to give up work while Kendall undergoes her lengthy and expensive treatment.
Kirsty added: “As soon as it happened I wished it was me, I’d sooner go through it than her. But she is a little fighter. She can have her off days after chemo because it is so intense.
“But you can’t believe when you are in this situation just how many people are out there who want to help you.
“Rebecca and Laura have been fantastic in organising the family fun day on Monday.
“We are financially struggling at the moment.
“But they have told us that Kendall’s condition is curable and that is a relief, but it is a long road she has to go down.”
All funds raised from the fun day, which included a family scavenger hunt, are going to the family.
If you would like to donate to help the Jolley family, visit their JustGiving page at justgiving.com/crowdfunding/kendalljolley.