A family is raffling off their £180,000 home in the Lake District for just £2.50 a ticket to raise funds for a charity dedicated to finding a cure for their daughter’s rare cancer.
Samantha Wilkinson, 36, said her family’s life was turned “upside down” after her then 19-month-old daughter Oonagh was diagnosed with two cancers in December 2018.
The brave girl, who is now three, was diagnosed with Stage 1 Neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that mostly affects babies and children after her nan noticed her belly was swollen.
The cause of the cancer is still unknown but it affects around 100 children each year in the UK – mostly under the age of five.
She had two MRIs on New Year’s Day 2019 at Furness General Hospital which revealed the tumours which had grown in her kidney and spine.
Two months later she was admitted to Manchester Children’s Hospital where she had a successful five hour surgery to remove both tumours.
The family moved to Spain in June 2019 but are hoping to return to the UK later this month to be closer to their family in Cumbria after a “gruelling year with Covid”.
They have welcomed a third child, two-year-old Clark, so they need to sell the two-bed home to move into a three-bed.
They’re selling 120,000 tickets at just £2.50 a pop, with any funds raised above the £180,000 evaluation going to Neuroblastoma UK.
If they sell all of the tickets they’ll raise £40,000 for the charity.
Samantha, from Dalton-in-Furness, said: “It’s a beautiful house in a lovely location.
“We would gladly stay there if we didn’t need to upsize after having Clark, but it’s a great opportunity for someone to get a home or even a holiday house for just £2.50.
“We chose the charity because it’s one that’s close to our heart. We’d love to be able to give something back to them to hopefully push forward research into this cancer.
“We want to raise as much money as possible for Neuroblastoma UK as they’re only a small charity who do such great work which has gone into Oonagh’s treatment plan.
“Without their incredible work and dedication things could have been so different for us.”
The house, situated just ten minutes from the Lake District, features two bedrooms, an open plan kitchen and living room, and a luxury bathroom.
She said that the raffle gave a lucky punter the chance to have a newly refurbished house for just £2.50 – with the added bonus that they could raise up to £40,000 for Neuroblastoma UK.
The charity holds an important place in the family’s life, after their daughter was diagnosed with the rare cancer in December 2019.
She said: “I was so shocked when they said they were looking for cancer in her blood tests.
“Getting that news was just completely devastating. It felt like our world had collapsed around us.
“It was all a bit of shock as it was all so sudden. We never thought her tummy being swollen could be cancer.
“She was a healthy baby.
“We are so lucky because we’ve read so many stories of children with neuroblastoma which went undetected too long.
“It can take months, so while it was shattering for it to all happen so quickly, it gave us a fighting chance.
“But you never think it’ll happen to you.”
Oonagh was tested again in November, 2020 and thankfully doctors said she was cancer free and healthy.
The stay-at-home mum said: “We’ve got so much anxiety every day about her condition but we’re hopeful.
“We live in a constant state of fear if she’s ever ill I just worry the cancer has come back.
“I’m scared if she even has a tummy ache but I’m just so grateful she’s healthy.”
They have sold 11,000 tickets so far.
You can purchase tickets for the raffle on the Raffall website here: https://raffall.com/WinSouthLakesHouse?fbclid=IwAR3-ykyS9BB95JUlEllLkr-ymoKtmW2NLgUbde-G4RjKD0IOJwmQKzQqSfA
Or contact the family via their Facebook page here: https://www.facebook.com/WinSouthLakesHouse/