Two police officers and 16 cadets have so far raised £1,725 to help out the family of 23-month-old Savannah-May Cowell, from Ballasalla, who is undergoing chemotherapy for two brain tumours.
Her cancer has left her with only 10% vision in her left eye, and she is currently 13 weeks into an 18-month course of chemotherapy.
PC Paddy Moore said that his fellow officer Michael Griffiths had heard about Savannah-May’s situation from a chance conversation at the garage where her father Si works.
Her mother Suzanne explained that, coincidentally, she had known Paddy since she was 11.
She told us how the travel expenses of all the frequent trips to Alder Hey children’s hospital in Liverpool had already used up their savings over the first 10 weeks, with more trips to come in the future.
Suzanne is also currently pregnant, and Savannah-May has two siblings and two half siblings.
Talking about hearing the story, Paddy said: ’I know it sounds dead soppy but Michael and I, we’re always looking to help other people - that’s what the job’s about, and it hit us both, being parents.
’We just thought "how hard is that?", so we thought we’d try to make life a little bit easier for them.’
The police cadets were bag packing over the weekend, and a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses is being held.
Asked about what she thinks of the fundraising efforts, Suzanne told us: ’I’m so very overwhelmed.
’Obviously it was a very private matter, just us and the family fighting the big fight - only my close friends and my son’s school knew about it.’
’To be honest now it’s kind of blown up.
’It’s very scary, but then on the other hand it’s so overwhelming to think that there’s some absolutely amazing people out there who do want to help for no reason whatsoever.
’And it’s very humbling as well.’
Savannah-May has just finished a 10-week intensive course of chemotherapy, which involved traveling away every week.
This will be followed by 10 blocks of chemotherapy sessions, each consisting of three weeks in Liverpool and three at home.
After the constant travel had used up their savings Suzanne spoke about how the fundraising campaign was ’a saving grace’.
She said: ’We weren’t really sure what we were going to do for Christmas, we weren’t really sure if we would be able to afford things.
’And the fact that this has turned up now, is absolutely fantastic to be honest’.
If the current 18 month stint of chemotherapy does not work, they can then try alternative types of chemotherapy drugs until they find one that does.
Radiotherapy is not an option, as because of the type of cancer Savannah-May has - Neurofibromatosis type 1 - it could combine with the existing tumors to create more.
’At the moment she is coping very well with the chemo treatment.
’It’s extremely tough on her, she’s non-verbal, she can’t walk and she has autisitc traits as well.
’So the whole experience for her is really hard, she doesn’t like to be touched - it’s just a whole lot of crying, and being in pain basically.’
l People can donate to the fundraising campaign at: https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/michael-griffiths-255?utm_term