Crowdfunding appeal helps 11 year old Joel and family as he battles cancer

A Longridge High School pupil’s battle against cancer has touched the hearts of the public.

Wednesday, 4th December 2019, 5:00 pm
Joel with dad David, brother and sister Jake and Jasmine and family friends Andrea Rowson and daughter Lauren at Manchester Children's Hospital in September

A crowdfunding appeal launched just days ago has raised thousands of pounds to help Joel Shaw and his family.

Joel, a former pupil of Barnacre Road school, is suffering from Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer

Now, after an appeal by his aunt and uncle, Felicity and Jimmy Saunders, on JustGiving more than 220 people have made donations.

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Joel pictured on his first day at Longridge High School in September. He is pictured with his brotherJake and sister Jasmine

By today £8, 896 had been raised of a £10,000 target.

His aunt said: “Joel is no stranger to hard times having lost his wonderful mum Julie when he was just five. His Dad, his brother Jake and his sister Jasmine are doing absolutely everything they can for him and it would be amazing to be able to help them as much as possible.

“Simple things, unpaid days off work to stay in hospital, caring for Joel at home, travelling to Manchester, practical changes to Joel’s house for when he is at home.”

Joel’s dad David said: “Joel is really positive.He never ever seems to be out of hospital ... I’m just hardly going to my work. It’s going to make life a bit easier. I just feel humbled and touched by how kind people are. They’ve just rallied round.”

Joel, pictured earlier this week at the Royal Preston Hospital, preparing to tuck in to a favourite meal from Franco's

The family live in Grimsargh.

Joel was diagnosed in October 2018 after a small lump developed on his arm. Before his illness Joel was a keen footballer playing for local teams Longridge Town and Longsands..

Following diagnosis Joel faced a gruelling year of treatment, but was able to start High School.

In September he rang a bell at Manchester Children’s Hospital to signify the end of his treatment. But by November he was ill again and was rushed back to hospital. Two tumours on his spine have now restricted his mobility.

His aunt wrote: “He is so positive, funny, caring and a genuine inspiration to everyone around him - he has been obsessing over garlic mushrooms from his local Italian restaurant (as all the nurses in his ward will testify!) and carries pictures of food around hospital with him. In hospital he has been researching places around the world he wants to visit in the future (mostly food based!) and it is really so important that he has positive experiences to look forward to.”

Fewer than 30 children in the UK develop Ewing’s Sarcoma each year. Earlier this year Joel had an intensive course of chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery. She added: “Despite a number of setbacks he kept smiling all the way and was just focused on putting the treatment behind him.”

Local friends Duncan Crosbie and daughter Holly rallied at the weekend to take in food from Franco’s to the Royal Preston Hospital where he was admitted after his temperature spiked suddenly.

• Preston North End midfielder Alan Browne has visited Joel on several occasions and other players have sent him get well messages. David, who works in Ribchester, said: “The response has just been absolutely overwhelming.”