Bereaved dad, Dan Wheeldon, is calling on the Yorkshire community to join Club Candlelighters, a new initiative launched by children’s cancer charity Candlelighters, to ensure it can continue to support families like his, alongside developing new ways to support other families affected by childhood cancer.
Dan’s daughter, Grace, was diagnosed with Haemophagocytic Lymphohistiocytosis (a condition in which the body’s immune cells begins to damage its own tissues and organs) in 2014 and sadly passed away following complications. Dan and his family were supported by Candlelighters throughout this experience and will continue to be, for as long as support is needed. Dan said, ‘Candlelighters were there for us. They held our hand and picked us up, they brought some joy to our daughter’s life when she needed it most and when our world was crumbling around us, Candlelighters was the scaffolding that held us up.’
Candlelighters provides financial, emotional and practical support to children and families affected by childhood cancer across Yorkshire. It also funds research to improve the lives and outcomes of children with cancer. This year, Candlelighters has been impacted significantly by COVID-19 with the charity seeing a huge gap in funding due to mass participation event cancellations and a severe drop in community and corporate fundraising.
In the first half of their financial year, Candlelighters experienced a 41% drop in core fundraising income, and expect it to be a number of years before their income returns to pre-pandemic levels. To help recover from the impact of COVID-19 and to enable Candlelighters to protect, improve and expand their support for families like Dan’s, the charity has launched its brand new initiative, Club Candlelighters.
Club Candlelighters offers supporters the opportunity to donate to the charity on a multi-year basis at three levels, becoming either a Guardian, a Rocket or a Transformer. Guardians will help protect the existing Candlelighters services, donating at least £5,000 each year for the next three years.
Rockets will help Candlelighters to accelerate their mission and to develop and improve their support by donating at least £10,000 each year for the next three years. Transformers will help Candlelighters expand their services and transform the charity by donating at least £25,000 each year for the next three years.
Candlelighters CEO, Emily Wragg said:
Every year, over 150 families in Yorkshire hear the words, “Your child has cancer”. You may be, or know, one of those families, and therefore personally understand the devastating effects of childhood cancer.
Club Candlelighters will play a significant part in our important mission to protect, improve and expand our services.
We also have huge ambitions to invest further in research to positively impact children with cancer across the world.
Our Club Candlelighters members will be the spark we need to keep our candle burning for years to come, and we hope that you will join us for the next chapter of our story.
Dan knows all too well how vital Candlelighters services are, and is asking both individuals and companies across Yorkshire to join Club Candlelighters to ensure the charity can continue supporting families like his.
Please consider supporting Candlelighters as a Guardian, Rocket or Transformer. Your incredible gift will mean the world to me, and to families like mine.
We want to make sure other families fighting their own battles have somewhere to turn for help, and I hope that reading this makes you feel the same.
If you are interested in joining Club Candlelighters, visit https://www.candlelighters.org.uk/club-candlelighters/, call 0113 322 9283 or email email@example.com