A BRAVE little girl who spent Christmas undergoing vital treatment in hospital has been handed a magical treat at the start of the new year.
Big-hearted Ann Chapman, manager of the Pendine Park’s Bodlondeb care home in Wrexham, has been busy baking a delightful unicorn-themed cake for four-year-old Mali Hilditch Prydderch.
The lavish cake represented a well-deserved belated Christmas present for Mali, who was diagnosed with Wilms’ Tumour – a rare kidney cancer mainly affecting children.
It instantly put a smile on the faces of Mali and her six-year-old sister, Mabli, when it was delivered to their home in Ruthin after fundraisers collected it from Bodlondeb.
“The cake is absolutely lovely. We have two girls and both of them are over the moon about it,” said mum Nia, who works at Ysbyty Glan Clwyd in Bodelwyddan as a psychiatric liaison nurse.
“We are so grateful to receive this beautiful cake and wish to thank Ann Chapman for what she has done.
“It is lovely that people have been so kind towards us. The level of support we have received has been tremendous.”
To put the icing on the cake, Ann also donated a delightful elephant chocolate masterpiece that was used as a prize in a fundraising competition on Facebook to support Mali’s family.
Ann’s generosity has represented a welcome tonic for the family, who have endured a tough recent history.
Mali’s diagnosis late last year came after Nia successfully fought her own cancer battle, having been diagnosed with breast cancer in 2018.
Nia and her husband Graham Prydderch – who hails from Brymbo and works at Wrexham Maelor Hospital as a member of the liaison team – spent the closing weeks of 2020 regularly taking Mali to Glan Clwyd for chemotherapy treatment, as they tried to come to terms with her diagnosis.
Mali – who has a half-brother, Joseph, 12 – spent Christmas Day at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, following an operation to remove her cancerous kidney.
“When something like this happens to your daughter it is the worst thing ever,” said Nia. “You cannot put into words how it makes you feel.
“But through it all we have received excellent support from so many people. It means a lot.
“It was difficult to have to be in hospital over Christmas. As a family we celebrated Christmas early and then we went to Alder Hey, but thankfully Mali was able to be discharged after three nights.
“I’m relieved that the surgery has been done and the early signs are positive, although we are taking each step at a time.”
To help support the family through this difficult time, Nia’s brother Rhys Hilditch Roberts – a manager with the Royal Mail – has led a fundraising drive which has easily smashed its initial target of £5,000. More than £12,000 has so far been raised.
Ann was touched when she heard about Mali’s plight and donated a Christmas cake to the cause, which helped boost the tally by more than £150.
She followed it up with her unicorn and elephant cakes, providing personal and fundraising support for Mali’s family.
As well as being a familiar face at Bodlondeb, Ann has regularly demonstrated her talents in the kitchen by sculpting a wonderful array of cakes in her spare time that are sprinkled with fine detail.
These are usually given to young relatives of colleagues at the home.
“Making the cakes is something I enjoy doing. It is nice to see the end product, but more important to me is knowing children are happy with what I’ve done,” said Ann.
“It takes me a few hours to create the cakes, but it is always worth it. I am sure as a four-year-old girl that Mali will love unicorns.
“This was about making Mali smile and showing her that people out there care about her.
“You just cannot comprehend what the family will have been going through.”
Fundraiser Jenny Whelan and her mother, Anona Jones, collected the cakes from Bodlondeb.
“We are extremely grateful for the effort that Ann has made in making the cakes,” said Jenny, a healthcare worker at Wrexham Maelor Hospital.
“They are lovely and it is very nice that the family will get to enjoy one of them, while the other will help raise more money.”
Anyone wishing to support the fundraising campaign should visit uk.gofundme.com/f/supporting-and-raising-awareness-of-wilms-tumour