Hornchurch mum who lost daughter to cancer raises thousands for boy, 3, battling leukaemia
- Credit: Katie Bolke-Carver
A Hornchurch mother who lost her daughter to breast cancer has raised thousands of pounds so a Rainham three-year-old with leukaemia can go on holiday.
Kim Brandon, whose daughter Sammy Jo passed away four years ago, said she “hated the thought of children going through what she went through”.
The Sammy Jo Brandon Foundation was created by Sammy's cousin Robyn Joynes, her mum Kim and other family members and has so far raised more than £200,000 for Children with Cancer UK.
Sammy Jo died aged 29 on May 14 in 2018.
A charity golf day organised by Ricky Smith at Jerram Falkus Construction and the Sammy Jo Brandon Foundation was held at Hainault Golf Club in May.
The event, which raised £2,500, was in aid of three-year-old Niko, who has a link to Kim as her niece’s partner’s Godson.
The amount raised has now been converted into Centre Parcs vouchers.
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Kim said: “We’ve given Niko Centre Parcs vouchers so when he’s well enough, him and all the family can go have one, maybe two holidays there.
“It means so much to us to be able to donate this to the family.
“It’s all in my daughter’s memory and I know she will be sitting up there absolutely buzzing with it all."
Sammy Jo was 26 when she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and Kim said her daughter wanted children but did not get the chance to have any.
Kim said the loss of her daughter has made her focus on helping to save other children.
Katie, who will be moving to Colchester at the end of the week with her family, said Niko is back on “really intense" chemotherapy again and has “really good and really bad days”.
She said the fundraising event was “heartwarming”: “We’re really grateful for the fact they thought of us, and have given us an opportunity to have a really nice family holiday and spend some quality time together.”
A football tournament and family fun day organised by Sammy Jo's partner, Jack Gifford, was also held on July 10, and saw Niko attend as a mascot for the day.
Follow Niko's journey via Katie’s Instagram page @ourlifewithleukemia.
The Sammy Jo Brandon Foundation can be found on Instagram @sammyjobrandonfoundation.