Laura embracing face painting activites at the bake sale

A brave young girl undergoing treatment for cancer has raised thousands of pounds to thank a charity that gave accommodation to her parents as she underwent lifesaving surgery last year.

Laura Powell, 10, from Balby, Doncaster, raised £8000 earlier this week by hosting a ‘Bake Me Better’ bake sale and coffee morning in her local community hall as a thanks to The Sick Children’s Trust, which gave her parents a room to stay at Treetop House as she underwent surgery to remove a cancerous brain tumour.

Last November Laura was rushed to Sheffield Children’s Hospital to be treated for Medulloblastoma, a brain tumour which affects the central nervous system. The room provided at Treetop gave parents, Annette and Mark, direct lift access to the hospital within minutes, rather than travelling 20 miles to be by their daughter’s side. Laura, who returns to the Sheffield Children’s hospital every six weeks to undergo chemotherapy, says:

“Without the help from The Sick Children’s Trust, Dad would have had to drive home from Sheffield to Doncaster every night as only one parent could stay overnight in the hospital.

“Having my parents there by my side everyday was absolutely fantastic; it really helped me stay positive when I was feeling quite poorly.”

Mum Annette says: “It may not sound that far from Sheffield to Doncaster, but every minute counts when your child is in hospital. We felt so lucky to be able to stay together as a family at Treetop House and the hospital was literally a lift ride away so we could be by Laura’s side any time of the day or night.

“The amount Laura has raised from the coffee morning is absolutely incredible, we’d like to say a huge thank you to everyone who popped along to St Catherine’s and made a donation. We’d also like to say a huge thank you to Adam Peters from HSBC for a very generous matched donation of £2500.”

Treetop House is one of 10 ‘Homes from Home’ around the country which The Sick Children’s Trust operates in order to keep families together through the worst of times. Treetop House is one of two houses in Sheffield which support families whose children are being treated at Sheffield’s Children’s Hospital.

House Operations Manager Sue Cartwright says: “What Laura and her family have done is absolutely incredible. It was wonderful to meet Laura at the event and I was so impressed at her courage as she starts her chemo a week on Monday. She’s a little star! It costs us £28 per night to provide emotional and practical accommodation for a family, so as you can imagine, the money the family have raised will make a huge difference to the charity and other families who use our services.”

The Sick Children’s Trust aims to keep families together when children are being treated in hospital far from home. The service is free of charge and operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you would like to find out more about the charity, please visit

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