Kelsey’s Wish Pays It Forward

Posted on 2nd Oct 2019

A month-long campaign in memory of one little girl has raised more than £35,000 to help the children’s charity Make-A-Wish® UK grant more life-changing wishes to children living with serious illnesses.

The legacy campaign, which featured six-year-old Kelsey, from Littlehampton in West Sussex, asked people to give a #LittleForALittle in memory of her modest wish for a rare, gold collectible Ring Pop Puppy toy that cost just a few pounds.

Kelsey was granted her wish just hours before she passed away on 10th August 2018 after being diagnosed with the rare childhood cancer neuroblastoma 18 months earlier.

Kelsey’s father Billy, who gave up work to be with her in hospital, said that when the tiny toy arrived after a frantic online search because the toys come in random packs, Kelsey was “over the moon” and Goldie never left her hand again.

Kelsey’s dad, Billy, said: “As I sat at her bedside, Kelsey was in and out of consciousness. When Goldie arrived, that was the last time she came round and was herself. The grin on her face was unbelievable. Goldie completed her collection. Goldie was a tiny plastic toy but to Kelsey it meant the world.”

After hearing how much money the campaign raised, Billy said: “It's brilliant that Kelsey's story raised more than £35,000. Seeing comments and messages from people that never knew Kelsey but read her story through Make-A-Wish made me wish those people could have met her.

“Seeing Kelsey's story online was hard because it brings everything back but, at the same time, it was really nice that everyone was getting to know her. It’s touching to know my daughter is still out there helping other children. It warms the heart and breaks the heart too. I could only watch the video once.

“I still keep in contact with a lot of people from the hospital on Facebook and I'm in contact with some of the dads from the hospital - some of them, their kids are ok, and others have lost their children. They come to me and ask, 'how do you cope?' In the year since Kelsey passed, I've learned that you have to make the best you can out of a bad situation.”

Make-A-Wish would like to thank all those who donated. The charity creates memorable moments to help children and their families cope with the impact of their illness or medical condition. To find out more, please visit make-a-wish.org.uk or telephone 01276 405060.

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Media contact

Joanne Porter
joanne.porter@makeawish.org.uk
07739 661320
Make-A-Wish UK, 7th Floor, Thames Tower, Station Road, Reading, RG1 1LX

About Make-A-Wish UK

Make-A-Wish was established in the UK in 1986 to provide the opportunity for children aged 3-17 yrs, who have been diagnosed with a critical illness, to choose and plan a special experience when so much else is dictated to them by medical treatment. A wish provides hope, something positive to look forward to and the chance to be a child first and a patient second. 

The organisation, based in Reading, receives no Government funding - registered charity numbers 295672 in England and SC037479 in Scotland - and currently has 2,000 wishes on hold because of the coronavirus.

Notes to editors

As some children and young people are not made aware of the exact nature of their diagnosis and to respect families’ own approach to their situation, we ask that the phrase ‘terminally ill’ is not used and that terms like critical or serious illness are used instead.  

Please refer to us as Make-A-Wish® UK in the first instance to distinguish us from affiliates in other countries. Thereafter ‘Make-A-Wish’ is suitable.

Please hyperlink to our website (https://www.make-a-wish.org.uk) when you mention Make-A-Wish online.

You can also find us on social media @makeawishuk