a schoolgirl battling leukaemia is keeping up with her studies and staying in contact with friends using a new laptop computer - paid for through the charitable efforts of a group of talented youngsters.
Ellie Thompson was diagnosed with the condition in February and began gruelling chemotherapy at Sheffield Children’s Hospital the next day.
Since then she has not been able to go back to Norton Free Church of England School and has been missing her pals while she is stuck at home on Hazlebarrow Road, Jordanthorpe, or in a hospital bed.
Stephanie King’s Stars of the Future stage school heard about the nine-year-old’s plight and immediately wanted to help her in the same way they have supported many other children and young people battling cancer in the city over the past seven years.
They organised a stage show of singing and dancing which they named Ellie’s Night and sold tickets for the event at Manor Social Club which raised an impressive £720.
The money has now been used to buy Ellie, from Jordanthorpe, a state-of-the-art laptop computer and all the accessories - allowing her to keep up with her school work during treatment, and contact friends through social networking sites.
She can even see her pals’ faces when they each log onto their Skype accounts and chat via the online webcam.
Ellie’s mum Lindsey, aged 31, said she was thrilled with the new device.
“Before she had to use mine but now she is loving having one all of her own,” she said.
“She’s dealing with everything so amazingly well but she is really missing school - she is such a bright girl - and all her friends there. Having the computer is a real boost for her - she’s been working very hard on it and having chats with her friends which is great.”
Although Ellie is only four months into a two-year chemotherapy programme, Lindsey said she was responding well to the treatment. She is desperate to get back to all the activities she loved before she became ill, like cheerleading, swimming and gymnastics.
“It seems that it is under control for now,” she said.
“Ellie is being incredible throughout it all, taking it all in her stride, and we’re just so pleased and grateful for this special present which she really deserves.” Stephanie King said the budding actors, musicians and dancers from the school were happy to use their talents to help others.
“The youngsters love it,” she said. “They are very talented young people and I feel like it’s a team that is on a mission to help other children who are really sick.”