A SMILE THAT WILL LIGHT UP A TOWN
LITTLE cancer fighter Mia Chambers will switch on Merthyr Tydfil’s Christmas lights this year.
Mia, who has won the hearts of thousands of people across South Wales and whose plight sparked an astonishing £300,000 fundraising campaign, will be the special guest at Saturday’s event.
The five-year-old first became unwell in early 2016 when a cancerous lump was discovered in her stomach and she was taken to Noah’s Ark Children’s Hospital for Wales in Cardiff.
Further tests confirmed the lump was stage four high-risk neuroblastoma – a rare type of cancer that mostly affects babies and young children.
Since the diagnosis, Mia has been through a series of aggressive treatments and procedures including three months of intensive chemotherapy, surgery, a stem cell transplant and radiotherapy.
After hearing Mia’s story, people from across the region have worked to raise around £300,000 to enable Mia to go to America for a special treatment called DFMO.
The lengthy community campaign saw people decorate their doors, cars and shops with rainbow ribbons to show support for little Mia.
Now the special young lady is set to make Merthyr glow this festive season.
Mia’s dad Josh said: “Mia is very excited to be switching on the lights, not to mention the chance to meet Santa.
“We have had so much support from Merthyr people and I want to say ‘a massive thank you’ to everyone.
“They have given us the hope we needed for a more positive future.”
Saturday’s festivities will begin in the town centre from 11am with a real reindeer, festive walkabout characters, seasonal music, dance, a funfair, face painting and Santa’s grotto.
The event will then move to Penderyn Square in front of Redhouse at 4.30pm ready for the big countdown at around 5.30pm.
Heart Radio’s breakfast duo Jagger and Woody will be on hand to compère the event featuring performances by Merthyr Tydfil Salvation Army Band, Fantasy Feet Dance Academy and the stars from the Redhouse pantomime.
Mia and her family will then join the Heart Radio team and Santa to push the plunger and light up Merthyr Tydfil town centre.
Antonia Pompa, from The Big Heart of Merthyr Tydfil Business Improvement District, said: “We are delighted to welcome Mia and her family to switch on the Christmas lights.
“Their story highlights everything that is good about Merthyr people who have shown their generosity and community spirit to support one of their own in need of help.”
Mia Chambers will turn on the Christmas lights in Merthyr Tydfil