A leap for Lilly – for the love of Hayley

A LEAP for love will celebrate the life of an inspiring Dunstable schoolgirl who died from a rare childhood cancer – and back a brave toddler’s bid to beat the same condition.

Cheery Ashton Middle School pupil Hayley Spokes, who died aged 12, taught others the meaning of courage and determination in her fight against neuroblastoma.

Now her mum and dad, Karen, 48, and Stuart, 52, and sister Natasha, 19, are planning a sponsored skydive to mark what would have been Hayley’s 16th birthday.

The family, of Sundown Avenue, are making a heartfelt appeal for backing for the tandem skydive on March 3 – to raise vital cash for Dunstable tot Lilly MacGlashan.

The Gazette has told of how two-year-old Lilly was back home for Christmas with her aggressive neuroblastoma in remission, thanks to life-saving treatment in the USA, costing £500,000.

Family, friends and big-hearted supporters are urgently raising funds for the next stage of her antibody treatment, likely to cost another £200,000, to help stop the cancer returning.

Hayley lost her fight for life in 2008. Now her family hopes to raise £1,200 from their skydive to remember her special birthday.

Karen, who now works as a children’s ward senior healthcare assistant at the Luton & Dunstable Hospital, said: “We felt we needed to mark the day in some way, by doing something special.

“Lilly has the same cancer as Hayley had so we thought we would do a skydive and raise money for Lilly.

“Hayley hasn’t made her 16th birthday. But if we can all raise enough money for Lilly to get the treatment she needs, then hopefully she will reach her 16th birthday.”

The skydive will take place at an airfield near Peterborough.

> Can you spare a donation, no matter how small, to back the Spokes family’s bid to help Lilly?

Every penny counts. If you would like to help, just sponsor the family via www.justgiving.com/hayley-spokes.

For the full story, see the January 25 edition of the Dunstable Gazette.

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