Friends jump at chance to help

Middlesbrough Herald & Post - - HERALD & POST -

FAM­ILY and friends of a brave young girl bat­tling leukaemia made a gi­ant step in their fundrais­ing ef­forts - from the top of the Trans­porter Bridge.

Jes­sica Sher­ring­ton, 12, waited proudly while her team of sup­port­ers - in­clud­ing mum Susan - ab­seiled down the land­mark.

The group was rais­ing funds for Jes­sica’s Smile - a char­ity set up to help chil­dren who, like Jes­sica, are in the early stages of cancer.

So far, the team has raised more than £5,000 for young­sters who are re­ceiv­ing treat­ment at New­cas­tle’s Royal Victoria In­fir­mary.

Jes­sica was di­ag­nosed with Acute Lym­phoblas­tic Leukaemia (ALL) in Oc­to­ber last year.

She is cur­rently un­der­go­ing her third five-week block of chemo­ther­apy. The ses­sions are the third round of a two-and-a-half year pro­gramme of treat­ment.

Speak­ing mo­ments be­fore she con­quered her fear of heights, Susan, 42, said: “Jes­sica is do­ing re­ally well at the mo­ment. We have just had her lat­est blood re­sults back and ev­ery­thing is where it needs to be, so we are re- main­ing pos­i­tive.

“We are try­ing to keep our­selves busy by rais­ing as much as we can for those in the same po­si­tion as us, which is help­ing.

“I’m ab­so­lutely ter­ri­fied of heights, but this is noth­ing com­pared to what Jes­sica has had to deal with, so I am go­ing to just get on with it.”

Jes­sica is en­joy­ing be­ing back at Rye Hills Sec­ondary in Red­car, which she at­tends three times a week.

Susan added: “Jes­sica’s treat­ment is due to fin­ish in 2019, which is when she will be start­ing her GCSEs, so we want her to be as ready as she can be.

“It’s nice to have a bit of nor­mal­ity af­ter so much in­tense treat­ment, she is re­ally en­joy­ing be­ing back at school.”

De­spite the shock and worry of the di­ag­no­sis, Jes­sica con­tin­ues to re­mains up­beat.

Susan said: “Ob­vi­ously she has her ups and downs. Some days can get a bit emo­tional but of course, it’s go­ing to be like that. Jes­sica is re­ally pos­i­tive which helps us to be­lieve that she will beat it.”

To make a do­na­tion to Jes­sica’s Smile, visit www. just­giv­ing. com/ crowd­fund­ing/jes­si­cas-smile

Su­san Sher­ring­ton and daugh­ter Jes­sica

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