Opinion: Community rallied around family ripped apart by child’s illness

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As a mum of three grown- up daughters, I class myself as extremely lucky.

My girls have had a fabulous upbringing, quite privileged compared to some, wanting for nothing, family holidays every year, secure home and a large extended family full of love and support.

Nicky Knight

Nicky Knight

They had a good work ethic instilled in them at a very young age, to be honest they were helping out from the age of 13 (slave labour you may think) but if they wanted some new trainers then they met me half way with the cash.

All this said, we have had the normal trials and tribulations, petty squabbles over clothes, make-up and sometimes dinner could, and still does, turn into World War Three. But most importantly, touch wood, I have three healthy daughters.

Some people are just not this lucky, some face the heartbreak of childhood illnesses and wow how heartbreaking this is.

Families are ripped apart, whole futures wrecked and parents are asked questions they just don’t have the answers for.

It’s truly heartbreaking that due to things completely out of their hands, their children’s dreams are put to one side while they have to focus on fighting deadly diseases.

It’s at times like these that we as friends, neighbours, teachers, business colleagues or even just being another mum can actually step in and lend a helping hand.

Not for thanks or praise or to get a mention on Facebook but just because we can, there but for the grace of God. As the parents focus on their child and of course any other children they have we can start to put the wheels in motion to keep all their dreams alive. Last year, I had the privilege of being involved in a fund raiser for a local boy and I was absolutely blown away at the support and generosity of our local community, this sort of thing can really restore your faith.

Instead of people knocking each other, worrying that someone’s car was better than theirs, that one business was making more money than another or that the woman next door had a “gentleman caller” I saw people giving their time, money and hearts into making this little boy smile.

As a business my suppliers gave so generously, this really did touch so many hearts, even people who didn’t know the family stepped up.

Everyone became focused on turning this event into a party, full of fun and laughter, no tears were allowed.

We had music, food, drink (for the adults of course), party games for the kids but most importantly people set up stalls, donated loads, gave money and of course their time. The evening was very heart-warming but more importantly it was fun!

The outcome of this night was that an enormous amount of money was raised and given to the family to do with whatever they chose fit, a chance to live a little at this horrendous time.

I always thought Community Spirit was something that happened when there was a war on, but no, that’s just what happened in Goathland in December last year!

I guess what I’m trying to say is that the life we all live right now is so full on, loaded with stress that we forget about each other.

That there are people out there that could do with a helping hand in their hour of need.

That we take for granted what we all have and then sometimes, something comes and slaps you in the face, a real dose of reality.

At the end of the day does it matter if your jeans are designer, or you’ve only been to the gym once in the last week.

What really matters is that we put ourselves out there, just giving a little can make such a massive difference.

Children shouldn’t be getting this ill, it’s wrong on every level, but the fact is it is happening every single day, so it’s time to open our eyes and give a helping hand.