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Jessica was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma when she was 5 years old. In the early days she was struggling with everything that had changed in her life as a result as her diagnosis. She was receiving treatment at Great Ormond Street Hospital, but at the beginning she felt anxious and wasn’t confident around the hospital and the staff. Spread a Smile helped her feel more comfortable; her gran Louise said, “When Spread a Smile’s fabulous entertainers came in, she would start off smiling and end up roaring with laughter. Although she loves all the entertainers, Fairy Felicity is undoubtedly her favourite.

Jess has two younger siblings, Taylor and Mia, who have also been affected by their sister’s illness. We are aware that siblings not only find it distressing seeing their sister or brother suffering, but also the time-consuming pressures of treatment can often mean some siblings feel ignored. Spread a Smile try to support Taylor and Mia too during this difficult time and have included them on VIP outings to the theatre and to our annual party. Louise said, “This has ensured Taylor and Mia do not feel forgotten or neglected; they always feel so special. They have been able to travel Jess’ journey with her, and they will always have the memories of doing things together. For this we will always be
grateful to Spread a Smile.

Jess has been receiving treatment for three years now and the fight against cancer has been gruelling. During this challenging time, Spread a Smile visited her often. Her gran said, “Whilst Jess was struggling with her treatments and the physical side effects, her emotional and psychological well-being was being supported through love and laughter from the wonderful volunteers and staff of Spread a Smile. This support for children battling serious illness is invaluable. You will never realise how much of a difference you have made to Jess during the last three years.