Anais with mom and dad Becky and Aaron.
Childhood cancer charity Candlelighters is launching the Bright Sparks Challenge, a new initiative to join forces with local businesses and raise vital funds.
The challenge is to support children like Anais from Hipperholme.
In 2017, when she was just five years old, Anais was diagnosed with Wilms tumor, a rare cancer of the kidney that had spread to other parts of her body.
Anais had to undergo intensive treatment, including chemotherapy, two major surgeries and radiotherapy.
In the three years since Anais was diagnosed, Candlelighters have helped the family through the childhood cancer journey with support at the Leeds Children’s Hospital ward and at their family support center, The Square, offering services ranging from talk therapies to mom and dad groups and massage therapy.
Anais’ mother Becky Smith Smith said: “The Square was an oasis when we lived in the ward. The benefit of massage therapy was so necessary, sleeping for months in a rollaway bed in a hospital is not good for your back.” Candlelighters also provided the family with much-needed vacation breaks and financial support.
Becky said: “Candlelighters were fantastic. Whether it’s seeing a friendly face on the ward, or for a chat and a cup of coffee in the square, they’ve been there. Candlelighters really made you feel like you weren’t alone.”
“Please help, this small charity is making such a difference to families. They provide support when you need it most. We have been incredibly lucky with a positive result. No family should take this trip, but having Candlelighters makes it easier.”
In the Candlelighters Bright Sparks Challenge, up to eight employees from participating companies are tasked with turning tealight candles into the biggest pot of money they can get
The Bright Sparks Challenge starts on October 4 and participants have four months to use their tea lights to raise as much money as possible.