“There will be an empty space where we should be hanging Holly’s stocking for Santa this year.”
Parents who lost their little girl after she bravely battled cancer three times in her short life have shared her story in Derian House’s first ever TV advert – part of the charity’s Christmas appeal.
Little Holly Prince, who would have just turned six-years-old, was laid to rest in a special cold room at the Chorley children’s hospice after her family lost her in April this year.
Derian House looked after Holly in the last few weeks of her life as well as her parents, her sister Evie, 10, and her brother Jack, eight.
This Christmas will be the family’s first year without Holly and parents Jenny and Mark will share their heart-breaking tale in Derian House’s TV appeal, which has launched today (November 7).
Holly, from Hindley, Wigan, had an extremely rare genetic condition called Bloom Syndrome, which increases risk of cancer and affects less than 300 people worldwide.
Holly’s mum, Jenny, said: “Holly spent last Christmas Day in hospital having chemo. She was tired, pale and nauseous but we were hopeful she’d beat it again like she had before. But by March she had deteriorated. Our brave girl finally passed away in my arms on April 8 this year.
“She laid at rest in one of the special cold bedrooms at Derian House, which are called the Sunflower rooms. We made it feel like home with her princess bedding and favourite teddies – Soapy the dog, an elephant called Nelly and her favourite teddy Willy. It felt like we had been given a bit more time with her, a chance to all be together for the last time.”
Caroline Taylor, Head of Income, Marketing and Communications at Derian House Children’s Hospice, said: “While many are getting ready to celebrate at this time of year, Christmas can be a difficult time for some families.
“Stories like Holly’s enable us to raise awareness of what we do – and the impact it has. Derian House has been helping children make precious memories and giving families care and support when they need it most for almost 30 years. We are always here for those who need us.”
There are several ways to donate to Holly’s campaign, including through the post, online, by phone, or by text. Text XMASHOLLY to 70085 to donate £10.