Walton: Full Monty charity night for Erin’s carers

Walton: A family today told how they were “knocked for six” when they were given the devastating news that their toddler was suffering from a rare form of cancer.

The Southall’s world came crashing down around them last summer when doctors told parents Darren and Kara that their daughter Erin had neuroblastoma – a tumour that develops from nerve tissue.

But a year on and the future is looking positive for two-year-old Erin and her close-knit family, and now they are looking to give something back to those who have helped her recovery.

Mr and Mrs Southall, of The Walk, in Walton, first noticed something was wrong after Erin suffered a fall. A few days later a lump appeared on her chest.

The doctor sent her for tests and it was then that she was diagnosed with the rare type of cancer, which generally effects children under five.

Mr Southall said: “Kara heard the doctor was here and she was in tears – the doctor told us to sit down and she broke down – it hit me for six but I had to stay strong.”

Erin has been through intense chemotherapy and given a cocktail of medication under the care of doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.

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They believe Erin is winning the battle, and hope that by August she will be in remission.

Praising his daughter, Mr Southall added: “She’s been very brave throughout.”

With everything now seemingly going well for the family they are looking forward to taking a trip to Legoland along with Erin’s brothers Kieran, nine, and Kyle, eight but they also want to show their thanks to the people who have helped them through such a difficult year.

Mr and Mrs Southall are hosting a cheeky Full Monty show and charity disco to raise funds for C2 Ward at Addenbrooke’s and the Ipswich-based Shona Smile Foundation, which helps sick children.

Mr Southall said the idea came from his wife after she watched The Full Monty film.

He added: “Addenbrooke’s is brilliant. It’s not just the ward itself, it’s the play team as well because they treat the kids so well.

“They have given a lot of advice to us about children like Erin.”

Shona’s Smile also rang the family to ask if Erin would like a gift and she was given a two-storey play house, much to the family’s delight.

The event will be taking place at the Felixstowe Labour Club on June 24 from 7pm, tickets cost �5 and as well as the show and disco, there will be a raffle to boost funds for the two worthy causes.

To order a ticket, or if you would like to donate items to the raffle call 01394 270060.

Do you have a heart-warming tale to tell? Write to Your Letters, The Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or e-mail to eveningstarletters @eveningstar.co.uk.