A mum whose daughter died of a rare condition days before her 10th birthday has been honoured for her tireless fundraising for Bluebell Wood Children’s Hospice.
Dawn Cusworth, 46, was recognised at the Stars of Hoyland Awards after helping to raise over £19,000 for the place she spent her last moments with daughter Mia.
Mia, described by her mum as a “really happy girl who was always singing and dancing”, was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) on the 30th August, 2018. She died eight days later.
“When Mia first started feeling poorly we thought it was just a virus, but she just kept getting worse,” said Dawn,” of Wood View, Birdwell.
“She wasn’t eating or drinking, and spent most of her time asleep.
“At the start of her treatment, we had to make so many decisions. I had to explain to Mia that she would lose her long, beautiful blonde hair.
“The doctors also told us the treatment could make her infertile, but we knew that because HLH was so aggressive, this could be her only chance.”
Mia’s condition rapidly deteriorated until there was nothing more doctors could do. She passed away at Sheffield Children’s Hospital on the 7th September, and it was then Dawn made the decision to take Mia to Bluebell Wood.
“The care team couldn’t do enough for us when we arrived,” said Dawn.
“We spent what would have been Mia’s 10th birthday at the hospice and it helped being there with all our friends and family around us.
“Coming to Bluebell Wood gave us the time to come to terms with losing Mia, without having to think about all the big decisions we needed to make straight away.”
Over the past year Dawn has thrown herself into fundraising, organising a winter fayre at Mia’s school, taking on Bluebell Wood’s Mud Madness race and holding a charity ball in her daughter’s name.
Now Dawn, who has two other children Jenna and Kyle, has been honoured at the recent Stars of Hoyland awards, proudly taking home Charity Fundraiser of the Year.
The awards, organised by local councillors, are held each year to celebrate the amazing work being done across the community.
“In just eight days, everything changed so rapidly for Mia, and our whole family,” said Dawn.
“Staying at the hospice after she passed away was so important for all of us. The support they offered was priceless, so I just want to raise as much money as I can for this incredible charity.”
Anna Gott, Community Fundraiser at Bluebell Wood, said: “Dawn is nothing short of inspirational and we know that Mia would be incredibly proud of all she’s done.
“She is a star in every sense of the word and we’re incredibly pleased she’s been honoured by her own community.”