Family of Billingshurst girl, 2, who died following cancer battle to hold Christmas cream tea in her memory

A charity cream tea with Santa will be held in Billingshurst next month in memory of a two-year-old girl who died following a battle with cancer.

Wednesday, 13th November 2019, 4:21 pm
Holly Bishop from Billingshurst who died from neuroblastoma in 2016 SUS-191113-092734001

The event will take place at Billingshurst Community Centre in Roman Way on Saturday December 7 between 2pm and 5pm, with all proceeds going towards the Piam Brown Ward, Children’s Oncology at Southampton Hospital.

Holly Bishop, who lived in Billingshurst, was treated on the ward after being diagnosed with Neuroblastoma, which is so rare it only affects about 100 children in the UK a year.

Holly’s grandmother, Ginny Bishop, said: “The money will be divided between the ward, for use to make the lives easier of the children on the ward and their families, and for the research team, led by Dr Juliette Grey, based on the ward for research into Neuroblastoma.

“My beautiful granddaughter Holly was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma just before her 2nd birthday, and her birthday that year – December 10, 2015 – saw her starting treatment for this terrible disease. At the time Holly was given less than 10 per cent chance of surviving.

“Over the next 8 months, Holly underwent some of the most painful treatments imaginable, including major surgery, chemotherapy, radiotherapy and stem cell.

“Through it all she never stopped smiling and caring about her mum and the rest of us. In fact everyone on the ward fell in love with her.

“There were some terrible times when we thought she wouldn’t make it, but somehow she managed to pull through.”

In August 2016 Holly was allowed home for the first time since December 2015 as she had beaten the cancer. Ginny says the family knew it would be a long uphill struggle to get her fit again and that her life would always be difficult.

Sadly, on November 20, 2016, Holly passed away, not from the cancer but from her little heart giving up the fight.

Ginny said: “No one knew the terrible effects the disease and treatment had had on her heart at the time.

“Since this date, Southampton, and other hospitals, are using some of what they learned from Holly to treat other children.

“Due to the small number of cases a year, the UK have teamed up with teams in Europe and now the USA to work together to find a cure for this terrible disease.”

Holly’s family have been fundraising since then in Holly’s memory and have managed to raise nearly £12,000 so far.

The fundraising cream tea on December 7 will cost from £3.50 and there will be a raffle from 4.30pm.

There will also be mulled wine, cider, Christmas stalls, scones from Jenger’s Craft Bakery, homemade cake, Christmas hampers and more.

Ginny said: “If we can save the life of one child and stop another family living through this tragedy then something good will have come out of it.”

All monies go into Holly’s JustGiving page, which is linked to the ward, https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/HollyBerry-Bishop

For more information, contact Ginny or Vicky Bishop on 07518 092968 or 07593 504474.