Girl touched by aunt’s battle with cancer hosts fundraiser at school

St Joseph's Primary School pupils cancer fundraisers, from left Grace Parker, Lauren Gibson and Leila Kassae
St Joseph's Primary School pupils cancer fundraisers, from left Grace Parker, Lauren Gibson and Leila Kassae

A schoolgirl who was moved by her auntie’s battle with breast cancer has taken to raising funds for charity.

Leila Kassae rallied friends Grace Parker and Lauren Gibson to organise a cake sale at St Joseph’s Roman Catholic Primary School in Jarrow.

Seeing her on Facebook in her ‘Stand Up to Cancer’ t-shirt, I just cried. I am so proud of Leila and her friends.

Kelly Capstick

The event was inspired by Leila’s aunt Kelly Capstick’s battle with breast cancer.

The 37-year-old was diagnosed in October and, since then, Leila has been keen to do something as a show of support.

After speaking with teachers, the 10-year-old and her friends set about organising their event.

As well as selling cakes, they also ran a name the teddy bear and guess how many sweets in the jar competition.

Mrs Capstick said: “The week after I was diagnosed she was looking to do something. She’s just amazing.

“She’s always asking if I’m okay and checking up on me. She really has a heart of gold.”

She added: “Seeing her on Facebook in her ‘Stand Up to Cancer’ t-shirt, I just cried. I am so proud of Leila and her friends.”

Throughout the school day, Leila and her friends sold items in aid of Stand Up to Cancer which raises funds for cancer research.

Her mum Rachael Kassae said: “When Kelly was diagnosed with cancer, it did hit Leila really hard. She said straight away she wanted to do some fundraising and that was it.

“For weeks, she had been meeting with her teachers and they have been writing letters to parents.

“She has organised this with her friends and I cried when she set off for school She just loves helping people and I couldn’t be more proud.”

Headteacher Elizabeth Seagrove said: “The school is tremendously proud of the girls.

“The fund-raising idea was all of their own.

“They have shown commitment to the whole project.

“Their determination to show care for others reflects the kind and considerate nature of the pupils here at St Joseph’s.”