'Amazing generosity' as Lucy's wheelchair appeal raises £20,000 in two days
FRIENDS and family of a Ringwood heart transplant survivor who is now battling a rare form of cancer have been overwhelmed after an appeal to fund a special wheelchair raised nearly £20,000 in two days.
As reported in last week’s A&T, friends of 21-year old Lucy Pearson initially hoped to raise £10,000 towards the cost of a specialist equipment that will allow her to return home between cancer treatment.
But after news of Lucy’s battle was reported last week, hundreds of donors visited her JustGiving page, pushing the total past £21,000 by Monday morning.
Family friend Sarah Dudley who set up the page said: “Last week we were at the point that we almost felt like giving up. But following coverage of Lucy’s appeal in the A&T and on Meridian Tonight it went bonkers. Lucy’s mum Bev was on the phone to me and she was absolutely hysterical – we just couldn’t believe the amazing generosity of so many people who have never even met Lucy.”
“Total strangers gave very large amounts of money, and that kindness has totally overwhelmed us all.”
As previously reported, having undergone a lifesaving heart transplant in 2006, Lucy and her family were devastated when she was taken ill with severe shoulder pain at Christmas and subsequently diagnosed with plasmablastic lymphoma, leading her to become paraplegic in a very short period of time.
It’s likely the cancer was caused by the immuno-suppressive medication Lucy has had to take following her heart transplant
Along with mum Bev and younger siblings Alice (19) and Ben (17), Lucy had been shielding at home since March 2020, as her health issues meant she was deemed vulnerable.
She is now under the care of Southampton General Hospital and has received chemotherapy, but after news the treatment wasn’t working, her family have now pinned their hopes on a monoclonal antibody treatment which has never been used for this type of cancer.
Sarah said: “At the moment things are going well and there has been a significant reduction in the size of the tumours, so she will be going ahead with a second round of the treatment. Everyone who knows Lucy is keeping everything they have crossed and praying all day long.”
Despite the success of her latest treatment, it looks unlikely Lucy will ever walk again, and the family were warned the waiting list for Lucy to get the type of wheelchair she now needs will be around a year.
Sarah said: “There are so many things Lucy will need in order to return home now that the cost of the wheelchair has been met, we are looking at equipment such as hoists, a hospital mattress and a specialist chair.”
“Lucy is the most amazing young lady who certainly won’t give up without a fight. Despite this huge change in her life and the challenge she faces, she continues to have a wonderful wicked sense of humour.
To support the JustGiving campaign visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/lucy-p