Mum’s �6,000 quest to help sick children

A NEW appeal for allergy ambushed siblings is in full swing thanks to a tragic cancer girl’s loving legacy.

Around �100,000 was raised for Susannah Pont, from Caister, to have treatment for brain stem cancer, but she died a year after diagnosis aged just seven.

Now a �500 slice of the fund has been donated to Ben Brown whose mother Toni has launched an appeal to raise up to �6,000 for pioneering allergy treatment.

The four-year-old suffers almost daily reactions to a host of everyday substances like dust mites, grass, nuts, eggs, all sorts of animals and many more. And now Ben’s sister Lucy, who is two next month, looks to have a host of health problems too, related to her immune system.

Toni, who is staging a series of events at Great Yarmouth’s Grosvenor Casino where she works, said that caring for two sick children was difficult but that she was heartened by the local response from well-wishers keen to help.

The money was handed over by Jimmy Swann, trustee of the Susannah Pont memorial fund at the casino on Monday. Mr Swann is also helping Mrs Brown to set up a fund with charity status.

Making it official means people can donate with confidence, Mrs Brown said, and also acknowledges the long-term nature of the appeal with little Lucy likely to have on-going needs, too.

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The �500 adds to the hundreds already raised for the Ben and Lucy Trust Fund, as it will be called. The family, from Lowestoft, is on constant alert for allergic reactions and ever-ready to administer medicines or adrenaline.

Lucy was born with a severe milk allergy – vanishingly rare in children under one – suffers near-constant ear infections, and is currently refusing to eat because it causes her so much discomfort.

Both the children were in hospital last week with different problems. Ben’s problems are more immediately life-threatening whereas Lucy suffers more pain. Mr Swann said: “Toni has not been getting a lot of support and I hope this donation inspires others to help her and Ben.”

Toni said: “I am very grateful for the donation and was a bit shocked when I received the phone call from Mr Swann. I was quite emotional when he told me.”

The next event is on Saturday, February 26, when a party night will feature head shaves and body waxing. For more information or to donate a raffle prize call the casino on 01493 850444.