Hassocks goes gold to fight childhood cancer

Hassocks Goes Gold is a campaign asking village shopkeepers to use a gold theme in their shop windows throughout the month to raise awareness of this cruel disease.

“This year’s theme is Golden Butterflies,” said Rachel BartlettBundy, resident of the Hassocks Goes Gold initiative.

Pearl Dixie died of Ewings sarcoma in 2017. Photo: Rachel Bartlett Bundy.

She said people can display a Gold Butterfly poster, purchase a gold ribbon, walk the Giant Gold Bow spotting trail or vote for the best gold window display to enter.

“My own daughter Pearl (Dixie BartlettBundy) died of Ewing’s sarcoma in 2017,” Rachel said, adding that she didn’t realize how common childhood cancer is until her own family was affected.

She also didn’t realize how poorly funded childhood cancer research and treatment is, as one in 500 children will develop some form of cancer by age 14.

“The chemotherapy treatment Pearl underwent was not unusual because it was designed only for adults,” Rachael said.

“Most childhood cancer drugs are not licensed for children, but they are given because there is simply no alternative,” she said.

Rachel said children need stronger treatments than adults because their bodies are still growing and many children are “dying from the cure before the cancer.”

“The medical staff we encountered during Pearl’s 11-month treatment were generally fantastic,” Rachel said.

“But without better treatments being available, there was simply nothing effective enough to save her.”

“It breaks my heart every day,” she said, adding that childhood cancer in the UK kills more children than any other cause, including road accidents.

“Pearl was so much more than a cancer statistic,” Rachel said, describing her as an “inspiring and energetic force.”

“She had so much to give to the world and in creating HassocksGoesGold I feel like I’m helping foster that energy,” she added.

In 2014, September was declared the month to raise awareness about childhood cancer and the Glow Gold September campaign encourages iconic attractions such as the Brighton Wheel and the Syndey Opera House to illuminate their facades with gold.

All money raised through HassocksGoesGold will go towards research into treatments for childhood cancer with poor outcomes through Pearl Power, a fund set up in Pearl’s name.

The Golden Butterfly posters are available at QD Stationery in Keymer Road, Hassocks.

Businesses can host a ribbon/wristband box where Hassocks residents can purchase a gold ribbon badge or wristband.

They can also sponsor a giant ribbon for £10, buying them a giant gold bow tied around a prominent Hassocks tree or a monument in the shop’s name.

E-mail [email protected], or learn more about the campaign by visiting HassocksGoesGold on Facebook or Instagram.

The Hassocks Goes Gold sponsors include Maple Leaf Gardens (sunflower contest), The Butterfly Gardens at Middleton Common Farm (gold butterfly photo contest, and Mid Sussex Flooring & Carpets (the poster).

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