A LITTLE girl’s dream cottage is now a reality – after a generous community came together to help.
Five-year-old Chloe Ferris from Warblington has been fighting neuroblastoma – a rare and aggressive form of cancer – since January.
She has been having chemotherapy, injections and blood transfusions.
But Chloe’s friends and family have been doing all they can for her future and she now has her own wooden cottage to play in – thanks to the efforts of keen fundraisers.
“We have the cottage and it is fabulous,” said her mother, Rebecca Ferris.
“It looks great and Chloe has enjoyed using it very much.”
Covers in Chichester donated building materials towards a decking area in the garden and other companies have donated concrete and waived haulage fees.
“Builders have helped with carpentry skills and laying concrete for the cottage base,” said Rebecca. “It’s been tremendous.”
With six older brothers, three older sisters and loving parents Rebecca and Wayne, Chloe has no shortage of support. But the family was heartened as the community rallied round to help raise money.
“There have been some amazing things done for her including a special evening in Southsea, organised by a special neighbour Alison Salter and a team of her friends, which raised over £8,000,” said Rebecca.
Jessie Younghusband Primary School and parents held cake and card sales while friends organised a table-top sale and a car-boot sale. St Anthony’s School arranged a special fundraiser and there was a Disney-themed concert arranged by Julie Oldham and the West Sussex county singers at Chichester Baptist Church.
“A student from Bishop Luffa, Abigail Turner, who attended Jessie Young Husband Primary School, has been doing a mile-a-day run for 100 days to raise funds and another primary school girl, Keira, cycled around Goodwood and raised money, too,” said Rebecca.
One family friend raised £110 to pay for some cleaners to come to the family home during Chloe’s treatment.
“Friends from church have been bringing dinners every Tuesday and Thursday for the past seven months,” said Rebecca.
Dancers at Ruth Stein Ballet School, where Chloe dances with her sisters, have raised money selling loom bands and other creative ventures.
“It has been so wonderful to feel the support and love from so many friends and strangers.
“Individuals have also contacted me to organise things like a cream tea in their garden. West Sussex Snowdrop trust have helped us so much.
“We thank everyone with all our hearts.”
Chloe still has a long road ahead and the family is continuing to raise funds for her future.
“She is so beautiful and loves being with her friends and family. She said the other day ‘mummy I know why I’m getting stronger. It’s because so many people love me’.
“How humbling and heart felt for me as mum to hear her say this.”
Over the summer the family had funds for Chloe to enjoy some fun days out which might otherwise be too expensive.
“Travel costs and food bills are very high,” said Rebecca.
“We rarely eat out and so Chloe has had a cream tea when we went to Bath along with some of her siblings.
“She felt so special and to be able to share it with her family made it fabulous. We plan to go to Arundel Castle, Thorpe Park and many other places when she is well enough. “We take each day as it comes.”
Chloe is cared for by staff at Howard Ward, St Richard’s and Southampton General Hospital. She is now receiving radiotherapy as part of her treatment for three gruelling weeks.
“They continue to give outstanding supportive care and the staff at Piam Brown ward at Southampton have been wonderful, too.”
To get in contact with the family, email firstname.lastname@example.org