Family of nine-year-old diagnosed with leukaemia for second time get help from festive event
PUBLISHED: 13:15 07 December 2019 | UPDATED: 09:13 11 December 2019
Visitors to a special festive event are being asked to dig deep to help a nine-year-old girl who faces Christmas in isolation, hundreds of miles from home, after being diagnosed with leukaemia for the second time.
The annual Christmas Market at Swanton Morley, near Dereham, is fundraising for schoolgirl Imogen Roe, who has undergone a bone marrow transplant to give her the best chance of beating the disease.
The pupil at Drayton CoE Junior School, in Norwich, is currently on a ward at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children following a stem cell transplant after chemotherapy was unsuccessful.
Her parents Dean Roe and Anna Dagless are with her, 250 miles from their home in Thorpe Marriott, after she was transferred there from Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge.
She had been in remission once after a two-and-a-half year journey which saw her having chemotherapy daily. And while this was successful the first time, it was decided a transplant would be her best chance.
An umbilical cord donor was found in the US and Imogen has now undergone the transplant process.
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Jade Cooper, organiser of the Christmas Market, which takes place in the village hall, off Mann's Lane, explained more.
She said: "Imogen was first diagnosed three years ago, spending a significant amount of time in hospital. Early this year Imogen got to 'ring the bell', to signify the end of her treatment journey - everyone was thrilled.
"Unfortunately six months later, in July this year, the leukaemia returned.
"We are raising money for Imogen and her family as this has turned their lives upside down.
"Imogen's parents have to divide their time as they try to provide some normality for the other children. Both parents have had to give up work. The money we raise will go towards helping Imogen's family with daily living costs, travel expenses and making memories so they can all enjoy precious time together."
Imogen's twin Charlotte and brother Liam are currently living with their grandparents in Fakenham.
- The Christmas Market takes place on Sunday December 8 from 10.30am to 3.30pm. There will be more than 50 craft and lifestyle stalls, children attractions, and a Santa's grotto.
- The family have created a Facebook page 'Gocrackersforimmy', where people can record themselves attempting to eat as many dry crackers as possible in a minute to raise awareness of the Anthony Nolan campaign and DKMS. Both charities campaign to highlight the importance of joining the bone marrow register. A GoFundMe page has also been set up at www.gofundme.com/f/go-crackers-for-immy.