A Derbyshire community have joined together to show support for a nine-year-old who is currently undergoing intensive treatment for cancer at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
When Donte Tucker from Grindleford was diagnosed with Hodgkin's Lymphoma a few weeks ago, his first wish was to shave his head before all his hair fell out, surrounded by his family and friends in the local pub.
Since his diagnosis, Donte has been receiving intensive chemotherapy treatment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, and his mother Nicola, who is self-employed, has given up work to care for him.
So, to show support for the family, Eleanor Brett, Nicola’s best friend, decided to organise a fundraising night to help make Donte’s wish come true.
Donte, who is a pupil at Eyam Primary School, was joined by his best friend Adey and 13-year-old brother Fabian, on the night held at The Miners Arms in Eyam, where all three shaved their hair.
However, the boys were not alone in braving the shave, as many other schoolchildren and adults in the community also joined in.
Eleanor said: “The community rallied round, it was unbelievable. I’ve never seen the pub as full. Mrs Gilbertson, the headteacher at Eyam Primary has been really supportive to the family.
“She discussed it with parents in Donte's year. Everyone joined in, Adey, who he is really close with, Fabian, and other children and adults. Those from the school and the wider community.
“I just wanted to raise enough money for Nicola not to have to worry about paying the bills, and for her to have money to take him to hospital.
“Donte loves motorbikes, so I thought anything extra could be used for something bike related on his good days.
“The pub was packed out. We’d just like to say a massive thanks to the community, the hairdressers Ruth and Mary and the pub for putting the food on.
“It was a celebration night, to show Donte has amazing he is and how much support he has.
“Despite everything, Donte is always upbeat. He was so happy and smiled all night long, he made us all cry.”
Since fundraising began just six days ago, over £3500 has been raised to help Donte in his fight.
Eleanor added: “His mum battled breast cancer a few years ago, and raised over £2,500 for Macmillan. She hates handouts and would rather the money go to charity, but I’ve told her once he's beaten this we can then raise money for charity.
“They’re quite a strong family, and everyone is supportive. They’ve got a lot of people that love them. Nicola was overwhelmed with the kindness and the community spirit.”
Donte is currently back in hospital, following a reaction to his chemotherapy, is is due to start his next round on Wednesday.
You can help Donte and his family in his fight against Hodgkin's Lymphoma by donating here.