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‘I couldn’t do nothing’: Ipswich rallies round to raise £20k for two-year-old battling rare cancer

Amelia Lewis has amazed her parents with her bravery and ability to bounce back after treatment. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Amelia Lewis has amazed her parents with her bravery and ability to bounce back after treatment. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

Archant 2020

Her “amazingly brave” spirit as she gears up for another round of chemotherapy in her fight against rare kidney cancer has captured Ipswich’s heart.

Amelia Lewis has undergone weeks of chemotherapy to treat the cancer.
 Picture: SONYA DUNCANAmelia Lewis has undergone weeks of chemotherapy to treat the cancer. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

And now a fundraiser is imploring businesses to scale new heights to help Amelia Lewis and her family - by organising a climbing challenge to raise £10,000 for the youngster and her family.

The bouncy, energetic toddler was living a normal life when her parents noticed a "scary" lump on her side in November 2019.

Tests showed Amelia was suffering from a Wilms' Tumour, a rare type of cancer which only affects around 80 children in the UK each year.

Despite the diagnosis, the youngster has amazed her parents with how she "bounces back" and copes with her treatment.

Amelia Lewis with her family, mum Sarah Old, dad Matthew Lewis and siblings Ben and Ellena Old. Picture: SONYA DUNCANAmelia Lewis with her family, mum Sarah Old, dad Matthew Lewis and siblings Ben and Ellena Old. Picture: SONYA DUNCAN

But parents Sarah Old and Matthew Lewis have had to stop working in order to look after Amelia, with fundraising pages launched to help them cope with the financial strain.

Moved by Amelia's story, family friend Jo Day has now organised a "battle of the businesses" to raise £20,000 to support Amelia's family.

She is looking for a total of 25 teams of six people each to come forward to battle through a climbing and assault course challenge at Ipswich's Clip 'n Climb centre on evenings between March 17 and 19.

With each team paying £120 to enter and needing to raise a minimum of £300, Mrs Day is hoping to raise at least £10,000 - which she believes will make a huge difference to Amelia's family.

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She has already had an anonymous donation of £4,000.

She said it was a "story that hit my heart and I just can't turn my back".

The worker at Ipswich's Hudson Group, who by Wednesday already had 17 teams signed up for a cause close to her heart, said: "Amelia's parents are both working parents with two other children to look after too.

"They have had to give up their dream jobs to care for Amelia's round-the-clock care plan, help her through the next 27 weeks of the gruelling chemotherapy.

"Financially they are entitled to no help, not even with their rent.

"How does a family going through such a situation cope in matters like this, the added strain of money worries on top of everything else?

"My aim is to raise a minimum of £20,000 to see them through the next six months at least - cover their bills, feed their bellies and more importantly take every strain of financially difficultly away from them so they can concentrate on Amelia and her siblings.

"We all do thing for the bigger charities and that is amazing, but something like this is so personal to someone and is completely going to change their lives."

Any businesses that want to take part should email Mrs Day.

However people can also donate by searching for Fight 4 Amelia on GoFundMe, while Mrs Day is also appealing for presents to create a "bravery bag" for Amelia.

"I just couldn't sit back and do nothing," Mrs Day said.

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