The family of a four-year-old battling terminal cancer have been hit with yet another blow – after thieves stole thousands of pounds worth of tools from outside their home.
Youngster Jessica Whelan, of Stonebridge Lane, Oswaldtwistle was diagnosed with a rare and aggressive cancer – stage four Neuroblastoma – in September last year.
Now her family say their livelihood and ability to care for Jessica has been “crippled” after thieves smashed into electrician dad Andy’s van at around 10.30pm on Monday, July 25 and stole the tools that are his livelihood.
The theft has left Andy unable to work, and facing costs of up to £3,500 to replace his collection built up over five years.
Andy said: “The living costs, going to hospital, we are pretty much down to the bare bones of what we have, and this just sent me over the edge because I won’t be able to get back to work.
“It’s crippling. It just seems like these last three, four weeks every single day has been some kind of battle. It’s just been absolute hell.
“And now I’ve had the theft of my livelihood. It’s made it so much worse because we don’t know where to go next.”
Although most of his tools were not distinctive some were marked with Andy’s initials, AW.
It comes as Andy and his partner Nicki Prendergast are struggling to come to terms with the devastating news that, despite two clinical trials to try and keep the cancer at bay, a recent scan showed Jessica’s tumours had grown yet again.
The family-of-four are now preparing for Jessica to go into isolation for specialist radiation therapy at the Christie hospital – but Andy says they are holding out little hope for a miracle cure.
Andy said: “We are hoping this treatment can stabilise her tumours, but now we know it won’t be a total cure, it would only be a prolonging of life.
“It’s dreadful seeing her in pain like that and knowing there is nothing we can do to help her.
“She doesn’t have any understanding or comprehension of what cancer is.
She doesn’t know what she’s facing and it’s not something I want her to fear.”
Lancashire Police said enquiries into the theft are ongoing and there have been no arrests.
A fundraising page has been set up by Andy’s best friend Peter Holland to support the family.
To donate, visit his justgiving page.