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Family raffling off £180,000 home for £2.50 after daughter’s cancer battle

A family is raffling off their £180,000 Lake District home for £2.50 tickets to raise funds for the charity dedicated to helping find a cure for their daughter’s rare cancer.

Samantha Wilkinson’s life was turned “upside down” when her then 19-month-old daughter, Oonagh, was diagnosed with cancer in 2018.

The now three-year-old had Stage 1 Neuroblastoma, a rare form of cancer that mostly affects babies.

Her nan noticed it first because of how swollen her grandchild’s belly was.

Two MRIs on New Year’s Day 2019 revealed that tumours had grown in her kidney and spine.

Two months later she was admitted to Manchester Children’s hospital where she had a successful five hour surgery to remove both tumours.

The family moved to Spain in 2019 but were hoping to return to the UK later this month to be closer to family in Cumbria after a “gruelling year with Covid”.

Having welcomed a third child, two-year-old Clark, they are in need of a larger house.

They decided to use the opportunity to raise money for Neuroblastoma UK, a charity close to their own heart.

They’re selling 120,000 tickets at just £2.50 a pop, with any funds raised above the £180,000 house price going to Neuroblastoma UK.

If all of the tickets sell they’ll raise £40,000 for the charity.

Samantha, from Dalton-in-Furness, said: “It’s a beautiful house in a lovely location.

“We would gladly stay there if we didn’t need to upsize after having Clark, but it’s a great opportunity for someone to get a home or even a holiday house for just £2.50.

“We chose the charity because it’s one that’s close to our heart. We’d love to be able to give something back to them to hopefully push forward research into this cancer.

“We want to raise as much money as possible for Neuroblastoma UK as they’re only a small charity who do such great work which has gone into Oonagh’s treatment plan.

The house, situated just ten minutes from the Lake District, features two bedrooms, an open plan kitchen and living room, and a luxury bathroom.

She said that the raffle gave one lucky punter the opportunity to win a newly refurbished house for only £2.50 – with the added bonus that they could raise up to £40,000 for Neuroblastoma UK.

They have sold 11,000 tickets so far.

Thanks to the charity’s work, Oonagh was able to be treated for her cancer.

Samantha described learning that her daughter had cancer “felt like our world had collapsed around us.”

She said: “I was so shocked when they said they were looking for cancer in her blood tests.

“Getting that news was just completely devastating.

“It was all a bit of shock as it was all so sudden. We never thought her tummy being swollen could be cancer.

“She was a healthy baby.” The mum-of-three said.

Even though the events happened very quickly from diagnosis to surgery, it gave Oonagh a fighting chance to survive.

Oonagh was tested again in November, 2020 and thankfully doctors said she was cancer free and healthy.

The stay-at-home mum said: “We’ve got so much anxiety every day about her condition but we’re hopeful.

“We live in a constant state of fear if she’s ever ill I just worry the cancer has come back.

“I’m scared if she even has a tummy ache but I’m just so grateful she’s healthy.”