Cake sale held in memory of young cousin

Isabelle Combes with her cousin Fletcher before he died of a rare childhood cancer
Isabelle Combes with her cousin Fletcher before he died of a rare childhood cancer

Student Isabelle Combes has raised £630 for charity with a cake sale in memory of her nine-year-old cousin.

The 17-year-old wanted to support CLIC Sargent as a thank you for the help it gave the family after Fletcher Mepham was diagnosed with a rare childhood cancer.

She organised a cake sale at Steyning Grammar School exactly a year after Fletcher died and the school then agreed the upcoming sports day would also be in aid of CLIC Sargent.

Isabelle said: “I can’t bring Fletch back but I can work towards bringing more awareness to a charity that helped him, and helps so many other children so much.

“I never thought that anyone in my family would suffer from cancer, I never thought I would be the person who has a relative who has cancer. However, my cousin Fletcher was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer, stage four neuroblastoma, in 2014 when he was six. This was the start of a very long battle for him and everyone in my family.”

Fletcher, from Burgess Hill, died on June 13, 2017. The nine-year-old had received treatment at the Royal Marsden and Royal Alexandra hospitals, including surgery to remove the tumour, a programme of radiation and chemotherapy, and a stem cell transplant.

Isabelle organised the cake sale for exactly a year after Fletcher died

Isabelle organised the cake sale for exactly a year after Fletcher died

Isabelle said: “Fletcher remained so strong and continued to be the funny, cheeky boy we all knew and loved. I can’t explain how hard it was so watch someone I love so much, get so ill and not be able to do anything.

“CLIC Sargent fights tirelessly to provide support, in the form of helping the child to keep in touch with school work, co-ordinating care to happen at home, and arranging CLIC Sargent grants. They always remained contactable and were there from the start for Fletcher and the whole family.”

Isabelle’s cake sale raised £400 and the online fundraising page she set up afterwards is already at £230. Visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/fletchermepham for more information.

Catriona Batchelor, CLIC Sargent fundraising engagement manager for Sussex, said: “What Izzy has done, on such a tough day for her and her family, the first anniversary of Fletcher’s death, is absolutely incredible.

“It is only with the help of amazing supporters like Izzy that CLIC Sargent is able to continue to fight for young lives against cancer and support families in such desperate circumstances. I cannot thank her and her friends enough.”

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