Hassocks goes gold to fight childhood cancer

Hassocks is set to turn gold this September to raise vital funds to combat childhood cancer.

Hassocks Goes Gold is a campaign that asks shop owners in the village to use a gold theme in their windows throughout the month to help raise awareness of this cruel disease.

It is giving out golden posters, available from [email protected] and Facebook/HassocksGoesGold, which have been decorated by Hassocks children.

“This year’s theme is Golden Butterflies,” said resident Rachel BartlettBundy, who created the Hassocks Goes Gold initiative.

Pearl Dixie died in 2017 from Ewings sarcoma. Picture: Rachel Bartlett Bundy.

She said people can display a Golden Butterfly poster, buy a gold ribbon, walk the Giant Gold Bow spotting trail or vote for the best gold shop window to take part.

People can also run the Gold Run, enter a sunflower competition and join the HassocksGoesGold Facebook Group to bid on a daily auction.

“My own daughter Pearl (Dixie BartlettBundy) died in 2017 from Ewing’s sarcoma,” said Rachel, adding that she did not realise how common childhood cancer is until her own family was affected.

She also did not realise how poorly funded research and treatment is into childhood cancer, given that one child in 500 will develop some form of cancer by age 14.

“The chemotherapy treatment Pearl endured was not unusual in being designed only for adults,” said Rachel.

“Most childhood cancer drugs are not licensed for children but they are given them because there is simply no alternative,” she said.

Rachel said children need stronger treatments than adults because their bodies are still growing and that many kids ‘die from the cure before the cancer’.

“The medical staff we encountered during Pearl’s 11-month treatment were on the whole fantastic,” said Rachel.

“But without better treatments being available there was simply nothing that was effective enough to save her.”

“It breaks my heart every day,” she said, adding that childhood cancer kills more children in the UK than any other cause, including road traffic accidents.

“Pearl was so much more than a cancer statistic,” said Rachel, describing her as an ‘inspiring and energetic force’.

“She had so much to give to the world and in creating HassocksGoesGold I feel I am helping to further that energy,” she added.

In 2014 September was designated the month for raising awareness about childhood cancer and the Glow Gold September Campaign encourages iconic attractions like the Brighton Wheel and Syndey Opera House to illuminate their facade in gold.

All money raised via HassocksGoesGold goes to research treatments for Childhood Cancers with poor outcomes via Pearl Power, a fund set up in Pearl’s name.

The Golden Butterfly Posters are available from QD Stationery in Keymer Road, Hassocks.

Businesses can host a ribbon/wristband box where Hassocks residents can purchase a gold ribbon badge or wristband.

Businesses were also able to sponsor a giant ribbon for a tree or landmark for £20 but this deadline has now passed.

Email [email protected], or find out more about the campaign by visiting HassocksGoesGold on Facebook or Instagram.

The Hassocks Goes Gold sponsors are Maple Leaf Gardens (sunflower competition), The Butterfly Gardens at Middleton Common Farm (golden butterfly picture competition and Mid Sussex Flooring & Carpets (the poster).