THE parents of a brave South Yorkshire schoolgirl dying of cancer say they have been ‘overwhelmed’ by the generosity and support of Star readers.
Abigail Fleming, aged 14, touched the hearts of people across South Yorkshire when she announced plans for her ‘16th birthday’ - held two years early because doctors thought she would never reach her real sweet 16.
The courageous teenager from Maltby, diagnosed with bone cancer in September 2008, was determined to have a party surrounded by family and friends - and asked them to donate £2 each to fund a ‘bucket list’ of things to do before she dies. Among her ambitions were to fly in a hot air balloon, meet singer Ed Sheeran - and have a giant jelly fight. She pledged to split the money with Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice and Weston Park Cancer Charity.
Her story sparked a flurry of donations from Star readers who had never met her.
Abigail’s condition has now deteriorated and her parents are staying with her at Bluebell Wood.
Richard, 42, and Maria, 43, said: “We’ve been overwhelmed by the support for Abigail, and our family and would like to thank readers of The Star in Sheffield for all their generous donations.
“Abigail had a fantastic time at her party, surrounded by her family and friends.”
Abigail, older sister to Aidan, 13, was a fit and healthy young girl when she was first diagnosed with bone cancer in her left leg.
She had chemotherapy but four months later had to have her left knee and part of her leg removed.
Then, in 2010, a routine scan found tumours in her left lung.
More chemotherapy followed and part of Abigail’s left lung was removed.
More than 300 family and friends went to the party at the Maltby Miners Welfare Institute.