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Battling Jessica has Courage on her side

Jessica Holmes, two, of Toulmin Close, Catterall near Garstang, who has leukaemia pictured with mum Mandy and the necklaces made from beads given to her each time she has some treatment.

Jessica Holmes, two, of Toulmin Close, Catterall near Garstang, who has leukaemia pictured with mum Mandy and the necklaces made from beads given to her each time she has some treatment.

With several beaded necklaces hanging from her neck, you could be forgiven for thinking that two-year-old Jessica Holmes is just a little girl who loves her jewellery.

But each bead has a special significance as it represents a different treatment milestone the youngster has reached during her fight against leukaemia.

Jessica was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, a cancer of the white blood cells.

Her mum Mandy, who lived in Morecambe until recently, and dad Bob were devastated at the shock diagnosis as they initially thought Jessica had become ill with a cold.

Jessica is now undergoing intensive chemotherapy to beat the illness and has lost all her curly hair.

Jessica started having back pain and tests have revealed that the gruelling treatment Jessica is undergoing to fight the leukaemia has caused nine compressed fractures to her spine.

As a result, she is on morphine and painkillers and is now preparing to start her next block of treatment later this week. Like other children battling leukaemia, Jessica is taking part in the Beads of Courage journey.

For each element of treatment Jessica undergoes, she is given a different coloured bead. Every time she has a hospital visit, she receives a yellow bead and for each blood transfusion, she gets a red one.

Mum Mandy, 40, said: “Jessica is already on her fourth necklace.”

Mandy, who has four other children, has her own business called Mandy’s Home Help and used to work for Bare Hall Carers in Morecambe. Her husband Bob is an HGV driver.

The family who now live in Catterall, near Garstang have been struggling financially since Jessica’s diagnosis.

However, they have been overwhelmed by the support from family, friends, strangers and businesses, who have been fundraising to help them out and they have set up the Jessica Holmes Family Fund.

 

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