A woman hopes to raise £3,000 to take her young cousin to Disneyland Paris following the tragic death of his sister.
Ethan Byatt, six, lost his little sister Hope aged just three to a rare genetic condition in January. Ethan had already lost his mother Alex to cancer about two years ago.
Life has not been easy for the Stamford youngster. So his cousin Gemma Mansell decided to do something to put a smile back on his face.
Accountant Gemma, 28, from Peterborough, set up a website to try to raise £3,000 to take Ethan to Disneyland Paris. In just a few weeks she has managed to raise £1,200. Gemma said: “Ethan is only six and it just would be nice to see him smile again and be a normal little boy with something to look forward to.”
Ethan, Jon, his wife Laura Goodliffe-Byatt and her two children Nieve and Kobi Goodliffe live in Caledonian Road, Stamford.
Ethan’s mother Alex died of a brain tumour at the age of 34. She was pregnant with Ethan’s sister Hope when she was diagnosed and died a year-and-a-half later.
Hope suffered from Tay-Sachs, a rare condition which causes progressive damage to the nervous system. The family first found out about her condition after she had a fit on an aeroplane just before take-off.
Gemma said: “It was on the aeroplane on Ethan’s first holiday abroad when Hope turned poorly and they never got there. The family have been through so much since then.”
The fundraising page has been set up through Have Soul, which is run by Enya Mooney, from Stilton. Each month the site supports a different cause.
A fundraising target is set and people pledge money, but if the target is not met the money is not donated.
Gemma needs to hit her £3,000 target by May 21. She wants to raise enough to pay for Ethan’s Disneyland tickets and travel, so he can come on holiday with her and her two sons George and Mason. And she also hopes to give some money to Jon and Laura so they can finally have a honeymoon.
She said: “The first few weeks were brilliant. It’s gone a bit slow since then but we’ve still got about two weeks to go.”
Gemma summed up her appeal best on the fundraising page when she wrote: “Over these past few years Ethan’s childhood has been consumed with hospitals and doctors.
“Jonnie has had to be there for both his children and deal with the devastating challenges they have faced.
“I cannot think of a family that deserves some happiness more than them.”
If you would like to help, visit www.have-soul.com/#!funding/c1gvt.