Harriet is a happy, healthy 9 year old girl doing well at school surrounded by a loving family and friends. She loves dance, helping others and raises money for children’s charities including Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research, Macmillan, Wish upon a Star, Parents Association for Serious Ill Children. To date she has raised thousands of pounds.
This seems like a perfect girl living a perfect life but six years ago, when Harriet was 3 years old, she was told that she had cancer (acute lymphoblastic leukaemia) and needed emergency life saving treatment. Every day since her family has been grateful for each day and dreamed of a happy ever after. Her illness took everyone by surprise and left the family in shock. Harriet received high dose chemotherapy for two and a half years. Her treatment made her extremely ill, Harriet needed care and support day and night. She fought through everything including going to school despite having no hair, feeling sick and tired, not being able to walk or eat properly. She just wanted to be like her friends.
Her loved ones learned so much going through this experience and wanted to help others, none more so than Harriet. Even during the darkest days of her treatment she raised money for local children’s charity and took part in promotional activities for children at the hospital encouraging people to donate blood. Harriet wanted to help other children understand leukaemia and their treatment so with the support of the play therapist she wrote a book for children and families. She drew many of the pictures for this book herself. This book is now used in the hospital. Since stopping treatment there were a few scares of potential relapse, but luckily she has been okay.
Harriet latest successes were for celebrating National Blood Cancer Day. She persuaded her headmistress to let her organise events at school. After liaising personally with Sophia Ahmed from Leukaemia and Lymphoma Research for the East Midlands requesting promotional ‘goodies’ she made a presentation at assembly with her friend, she went into every class to teach them about how blood is made and what leukaemia is. Harriet even encouraged the youngest children of her school to make ‘Get Well Soon’ cards for children currently in hospital on the cancer ward. She then arranged a cake stall held at the Friday School Special Assembly which families attended. She also ran a cake and tombola stall with her grandma and sold yet more cakes at her dance exams. She raised £637.20 in total for Leukaemia and Lymphoma research and loved every single minute!
Her parents said "she is the kindest and most caring girl we know. As parents we are proud to tell this story, no matter how painful the memories are. We got through this as a family inspired by our daughter’s belief that she was going to get better. Sometimes we thought the end would never come, the end that we wanted. But somehow the end did come after years of battling and we did achieve Harriet’s dream of being a normal little girl."
Harriet never gave up and she continues to help others. Well done to Harriet for all she has achieved so far and we all know she will carrying on reaching for the stars! We hope her story inspires others to join us to help beat blood cancer.