The family of a little girl fighting cancer has thanked a martial arts club which raised thousands of pounds to help her.
Kuon Ji Ju-Jitsu Association raised more than £3,700 for four-year-old Jessica Whelan, from Oswaldtwistle, who is fighting a rare form of cancer.
Members from clubs from around the Accrington area took part in a sponsored throw down which involved junior and senior members.
The club raised £3,748 which included a donation from one of their clubs in Australia and presented a cheque to Jessica at their Oswaldtwistle HQ.
Jessica has been diagnosed with stage four Neuroblastoma, a rare cancer affecting around 100 children each year in the UK - mostly under the age of five - and has been undergoing treatment at Manchester Children’s Hospital.
Her dad Andy thanked the club and said that the money would allow them to boost the quality of Jessica’s life.
He said: “The fundraising has been phenomenal, we’ve been using the money to give Jessica days out and treats that she’s so deserving of.
“Since October it’s not been good news, she’s had to be taken off the clinical trial she was on, and we’re now looking at prolonging her life. It’s taken a bit of time to sink in but we’re hopeful for a few years of quality life.
“We’re still hoping to take her to Disneyland in Paris. We’re looking at dates at the moment, we don’t want her to be stuck in hospital for the rest of her life.”
Jessica, of Stone Bridge Lane, Oswaldtwistle also has mum Nicki Prendergrast and James, one.
Max Robinson, senior coach at Kuon Ji Ju-Jitsu Association, said: “We all enjoyed the event, the kids were brilliant and they really got into the swing of it.
“It is a lot harder than it sounds, doing the throws is hard enough, but when you’re being thrown as well, it makes it extra tough, but it is all for a good cause.
“We heard about the illness that little Jessica has and the treatment that she is having to go through means that her parents have to be with her constantly and so have had to give up work which obviously puts a tremendous strain on the whole family life. We thought that we should do something to try and help if we could.”
To follow Jessica’s journey through her treatment search for Jessica Whelan - A fight against Neuroblastoma on Facebook.