FUNDRAISERS helping a Marsden toddler’s battle with leukaemia have been dealt a sick blow.
Money they had raised to help two-year-old Leah Shaw has been stolen from a pub.
Hundreds of pounds were taken from a collection barrel at the Riverhead in Marsden. But defiant supporters vowed to carry on fundraising and yesterday enlisted the help of former Coronation Street star Bruce Jones, who played layabout Les Battersby.
He joined Leah, her parents and supporters at the Royal Oak in Linthwaite, where there was a successful fundraising weekend.
Marsden tot Leah Shaw, two, was diagnosed with leukaemia in December.
Mum Helen has been raising funds to help her daughter and other sick children at St James’s University Hospital, Leeds.
She set up a collection barrel at the bar of the Riverhead in Marsden where she works.
But two weeks ago the barrel, containing £500, was stolen.
Helen said: “I was gutted when I found out.”
But the 23-year-old isn’t letting the robbery dampen her spirits. She said: “Even if they caught whoever did it, we wouldn’t get the money back. There’s no point crying over it.”
Leah was diagnosed with leukaemia on December 9. She has to have chemotherapy for the next two years and is currently enduring the treatment every night.
Helen said: “She’s going through all the changes, all the medications, being poked and prodded. At first she had an infection but she’s getting better. She’s OK now, she’s in remission.”
Helen is trying to stay upbeat. She said: “It’s hard for me but you have to get on with it.
“You can’t wallow in the pain or it will consume you.”
Despite the callous theft, fundraising efforts are continuing for little Leah.
Yesterday, male customers at the Royal Oak in Linthwaite raised money by having their legs and chests waxed. Bruce Jones, who played Les Battersby in Coronation Street, made a guest appearance at the event.
The pub - which is Leah’s grandparents’ local - also held an auction and raffle on Saturday with entertainment by the Fab Dezzy Dee. And profits from last Thursday’s quiz were also given to the good cause.
Landlady Jeanne Brennan said: “We want to help Leah and her family because it’s such a strain for them.
“The funds we raise will help them with any extra expenses they incur because of Leah’s treatment. We are also hoping to provide St James’s Hospital with educational toys for Leah’s ward to keep the children occupied during their traumatic time.”