A BRAVE York girl who was diagnosed with leukaemia only days before Christmas is facing two years of intensive treatment.
Five-old Phoebe Watling, of Huntington, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia and rushed into treatment after she was taken to hospital with a stomach ache.
The Stockton-on-the-Forest Primary School pupil has already undergone intensive chemotherapy and faces further treatment until February 2016.
Now her family are working to raise as much money as possible for the charities that have given invaluable help to them and Phoebe.
Her mum Gemma Spratt, 30, said: “I’m very proud of Phoebe, she is doing really well.
“She has gone from being a healthy five-year-old girl to being not well. She had really thick long hair, which she has lost. That has been the hardest thing for her but she has taken all the treatment in her stride, she has coped well and medically she has reacted well.
“It’s quite an intensive programme but the treatment is amazing and they know what they are doing.”
Miss Spratt and Phoebe’s aunt Claire Crouch are appealing to local businesses to donate prizes for a charity raffle and auction at a sold-out event at the Jinnah restaurant in Flaxton in May.
All money raised will go to the Leeds children’s cancer charity Candlelighters and Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research.
Miss Spratt said: “It’s such an awful thing to happen and you could sit and wallow or try and turn your attention elsewhere.
“We were in hospital for over a month over Christmas. Candlelighters are amazing in how they support you and we are just trying to give something back.”
Days before Christmas Phoebe complained of a stomach ache and by the evening of the following day she was in A&E with suspected appendicitis.
However, a blood test showed that Phoebe had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia - a cancer of the white blood cells that needs immediate treatment - and she was taken by ambulance to Leeds General Infirmary, starting chemotherapy two days before Christmas.
Her illness came as a huge shock as Phoebe had previously appeared very healthy.
Phoebe is due to start a bout of intensive chemotherapy treatment in three weeks.
She is being looked after by mum Gemma as well as her dad Gary and his wife Charlotte Watling and her half brother and sisters Ellie, Lennon and Charleigh.
Appealing for businesses to donate prizes, Miss Spratt said: “Any support we can get from anywhere is amazing. We would be so grateful for anything.”
Anyone who can donate should email firstname.lastname@example.org