Ex-Hibernian boss Leeann Dempster steps in to help little Flora’s race cancer battle

Ex-Hibs chief executive Leeann Dempster is taking part in a fund-raising campaign aiming to helpa two-year-old girl’s fight against stage 4 cancer.

Monday, 28th June 2021, 4:45 pm

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Little battler Flora, who lives with Hibs-loving parents Jamie Gentleman and Stephanie Kent in East Lothian, was diagnosed with a neuroblastoma in April and has reacted well to treatment that she has received from the NHS.

The past few months have been extremely difficult for the family as Flora has been in and out of hospital to attend appointments.

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Leeann Dempster is helping little Flora
Leeann Dempster is helping little Flora

Unfortunately, due to lack of funding in the NHS for such a rare type of cancer the family face the task of raising the money themselves, and so far they have raised an astonishing amount of just over £30,000 on the Solving Kids Cancer fund-raising platform.

The youngster has spend months enduring gruelling treatments but has borne her disease bravely despite the effect it is having on her little body.

Mum Stephanie said: “We are so proud of how she is doing. The disease affects around 100 kids each year in the UK and while treatment has come a long way the battle isn’t over, even at the end of treatment. The chances of relapse are around 50 per cent, with a survival rate of just one in ten.

“Our fund-raising will help pay for treatment, but we also want to raise funds for research and to create greater awareness.”

Two-year-old Flora received a shock diagnosis of stage four neuroblastoma in April this year

Leeann – now CEO of Queen’s Park FC in Glasgow – heard of Flora’s diagnosis and stepped in to help Flora’s battle against this rare type of cancer by auctioning off sporting memorabilia on Ebay.

The items included in the auction are from Leeann’s career including memorabilia items from her time at Hibernian FC and Motherwell. Items such as programmes from significant games and a genuine Cup Final blood shirt, signed by several members of the team when Hibernian famously beat Rangers in the 2016 Scottish Cup Final ending 114 years of hurt.

After hearing about Flora’s fundraising campaign, Leeann said: “Football is all about creating wonderful moments and memories to cherish. I’ve gathered lots of mementos over the years, and I thought this would put them to great use. I know how fantastic Hibs and Motherwell supporters are when it comes to helping out, and by doing this I hope that those who can help will do so and – at the same time – gain some unique reminders of great days for both clubs.”

Flora visited the GP three times and was told her deteriorating health was a stomach bug

Flora’s father Jamie said ““We are so grateful to Leeann for doing this. It is typical of her to offer to help, and it is really kind of her to give up so many mementos of her time at these two clubs. We are so grateful for all of the help and support we have had so far; it has been really humbling and we really appreciate all of it.”

Leeann Dempster’s auction on eBay goes live at 6pm on 29th June.

Flora’s campaign and story can be found at her fundraising page: https://www.solvingkidscancer.org.uk/Appeal/flora

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