Hartlepool youngster follows in the footsteps of ‘phenomenal’ sister with fundraising effort

Poolies’ kindness is endless.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 4:45 am

Mum Nicola Hewitson has praised her daughter Bo, nine, after she raised more than £350 for the neurosurgery department at James Cook University Hospital, in Middlesbrough where Bo’s older sister, Abbi, has been receiving care following a brain tumour diagnosis in 2019.

The Kingsley Primary pupil raised the money over a couple of days online after her planned lemonade sale couldn’t go ahead because of bad weather at the time.

Thoughtful Bo handed the fundraising check to neurosurgeon Anil Varna, who has been consulting Abbi since her diagnosis.

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Abbi, 27, has had to undergo two surgeries since 2019.
Abbi, 27, has had to undergo two surgeries since 2019.

Nicola, 48, has said she and dad Andrew, 45, are very proud, adding: “We do ongoing fundraising for the brain tumour support, but Bo wanted to do something herself.

“Me and her dad are so proud of her. So proud of Abbi too. She takes everything in stride.”

The family’s life turned around when Abbi was diagnosed with glioma in January 2019 when she was just 25.

She had a surgery to remove the tumour in 2019 before tests at the beginning of this year detected cancerous cell changes and Abbi had to undergo a second 11-hour-long surgery in March.

Bo handed over the check last week.

Nicola, who works in paediatric physiotherapy, has said it’s been tough for Abbi’s siblings Seth, 12, and Bo to watch their big sister struggle.

She said: “It’s been a lot for them over the past two years to watch their sister be so poorly, but they’re really good kids and I am so proud of them.”

Nicola continued: “Abbi was really outgoing, travelled all over to different countries.

Mum Nicola Hewitson with Bo, Abbi and Seth (from left to right).

"After this surgery, she was tortured with multiple seizures daily.

“She has a good support network of friends, but not like it was before. Her life’s totally changed.”

But Abbi hasn’t given up and recently raised £10,000 for Macmillan Cancer Support as she plans to return to her job as a bank cashier in August.

Nicola, of Rift House, said: “She’s amazing. She’s an inspiration. Absolute inspiration to us all.

”She was awake for the last surgery. She’s phenomenal, absolutely phenomenal.

"And on her own in Leeds hospital because of Covid. I couldn’t stay with her. She had to be left at the ward door.

"It’s been a nightmare to be fair.”

Nicola added: "We’ll carry on fundraising. We’ll carry on with positivity.”

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