Brave Ella says thanks with audience’s help


Audiences dug deep in support of a schoolgirl who is undergoing treatment for a rare childhood cancer.

Ella Rigg, the granddaughter of Dewsbury Collegians stalwart Noel Rigg, was diagnosed with neuroblastoma just before Christmas.

She is being treated at Leeds General Infirmary, where her family is also receiving support from children’s cancer charity Candelighters.

Last week, the Collegians raised £1,300 for the charity during performances of pantomime Cinderella.

Dad Chris Rigg, 42, said: “Everybody was obviously touched and gave generously.

“It was a nice surprise when there’s not a lot of nice things going on. It kind of helps to feel like you’re doing something positive.”

Ella celebrated her seventh birthday in November and starting suffering stomach aches soon after.

Mr Rigg, of Heaton Avenue, Dewsbury, said: “We put it down to normal tummy aches. They carried on for a while so we asked for some tests.”

Doctors then diagnosed Ella with neuroblastoma, a rare and aggressive form of cancer.

She is now undergoing chemotherapy at the LGI, where she was receiving her latest treatment this week.

Mr Rigg said: “I would think any cancer is a shock to say the least. It’s like being hit by a bus.

“Very difficult to accept, but Candlelighters make it as easy as they can on the ward.”

In a message to panto audiences, Ella wrote: “Although the medicines are horrible, all the staff at LGI are fantastic and they all say I’m very brave.”

“The ward I am on is partly funded by a special charity called Candlelighters. I would like to say thank you by raising some money to help them continue doing their great work.”

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