Village rallies to support young Jess’s Disney Day
Race and events will raise cash for cancer treatment in US to help tackle ‘boring Boris’
AN INSPIRATIONAL eight-year-old girl, who has named her tumour ‘boring Boris’, needs £120,000 for cancer treatment in America.
Jessica Shepherd, from Harefield, has captured the hearts of her community, who hope to help raise the sum with a special fundraiser called Jess’s Disney Day.
Jess was diagnosed with a rare form of childhood cancer, neuroblastoma, aged just three years old, and then went into remission spontaneously.
When the cancer returned at the end of 2013, Jess named her tumour Boring Boris because ‘it kept coming back’.
The brave youngster underwent chemotherapy, surgery, radiotherapy and retinoic acid, for a whole year so her family thought she had gone into remission.
Unfortunately, ‘Boris’ had withstood all the treatment and came back in February 2015 so Jess recommenced her treatment.
Now, with the return of her cancer for a fourth time, although Jess has been accepted at the Royal Marsden Hospital for trial treatment, doctors have told her that when she is in remission, she will have to go to the United States for follow up injections – costing a staggering £120,000.
Jess’s story struck a chord with family friend and fellow Harefield resident Teresa King, who hopes to raise money through races and events on the Disney Day.
She said: “She’s just an amazing child, she’s eight now and has been through five years of hell, she’s just pulled out the other end and kept going. I wanted to do what I could for her, so we just put our heads together and thought we would try this.”
Teresa sadly lost her brother, Stephen, aged 10 – after being diagnosed with neuroblastoma aged three and a half.
The 27-year-old said: “I wanted to get involved as I couldn’t see another child go through what my brother went through. I know the village are helping as much as they can – they were so good to us and I want to give back to them too.”
The Mayor of London Boris Johnson MP, after whom the tumour was named in a tongue in cheek fashion, said: “Jessica has shown tremendous courage in her battle against cancer and I hope people will support this fantastic fundraising effort.”
Jess’s nan explained how the name ‘Boris’ came to light.
She said: “We just went through names and it was what made her laugh. We’d love to get a picture of Jess hitting him with a blow-up club as our hashtag is #HelpJessBeatBoris.”
Jess’s nan thinks Boris Johnson is “amazing” and that his message will “make her day”.
She continued: “People could take it (the tumour name) wrong and I’m so pleased he hasn’t, it’ll make her day.
“I’ll show Jess photos of him so she knows who he is and I’ll tell her he thinks she’s extremely courageous.”
The family also want to thank the “absolutely amazing” medical teams at Hillingdon Hospital and Great Ormond Street.
Describing Jess, her nan said she is also “absolutely amazing”.
She added: “This time she’s a bit older and really didn’t want Boris back and found it hard when she was told that but within two days she was back to her positive self.
“So long as she knows what’s going to happen to her, she just goes and gives it her all.”
As well as the Disney Day, Harefield Juniors School, where Jess attends, will be holding a ‘Dress for Jess’ day where children can come to school dressed in pink.
Jess’s Disney Day will be from 10am-4pm on Saturday, May 21.
Entry to a quiz and disco at The Harefield, High Street at 6.30pm on the day is £5 per person.
If you’d like to support Teresa’s fundraising efforts, visit: https://www. gofundme.com/h6svcqt8 or get in touch with her on tessking88@gmail. com
n BRAVE AND
HUMOROUS: Eight-year-old Jess from Harefield is
battling cancer for the fourth time