Mum's Christmas card plea for toddler who is spending big day in hospital
A 'beautiful and courageous' toddler living with an aggressive form of cancer will be spending Christmas in hospital, her family has been told.
Ireland Banham, from Ipswich, and her family were given the bad news that her chemotherapy treatment was being brought forward to December 16, instead of an original start date of December 30.
Now her mother Chloe is appealing for people to send Ireland Christmas cards - the youngster loves to sit and look at pictures, and imagines she's reading a story.
"Just a few days ago we received the news that unfortunately Ireland is going to be in hospital for Christmas," she wrote on the toddler's fundraising Facebook page Ireland's Neuroblastoma Journey.
"We were originally told she would be going in after Christmas to start her intense chemo, sadly this is now not the case.
"Ireland has missed out on summer, celebrating Halloween and Guy Fawkes this year, so to add Christmas to that list is a little bit depressing.
"We were wondering if any of Ireland's followers would like to send her a Christmas card? She loves to sit and look at pictures, and imagine she's reading a story, so you can only imagine how fascinated she'd be by Christmas cards too.
"Alternatively if you're not doing Christmas cards this year, you could donate to her JustGiving page."
Ireland is also unable to have a traditional Christmas dinner because she is on a restricted no fat diet.
"We thought sending her lots of Christmas cards would somehow show her just how special she is and how included she still is at Christmas," her mother added.
"Sadly Ireland won't be having a Christmas at home until the end of January until she is back as we thought it would be cruel to let her have all her presents and then she can't play with any of them."
How can I help Ireland and her family?
Christmas cards should be sent to Ward C2, Addenbrooke's Hospital, Hills Road, Cambridge, CB2 0QQ.
Ireland's family are hoping to raise £200,000 for her to have lifesaving treatment in the US.
The mother of Bradley Lowery, who lost his battle with neuroblastoma in 2017, recently visited Ipswich to help launch the toddler's campaign.