The family of one-year-old Hattie Seymour, who has just been diagnosed with acute lymphomblastic leukaemia (ALL) are urging members of the public to join rugby star Kyran Bracken and take part in ‘Hattie’s Haka’ as she undergoes chemotherapy to fight the disease.
One-year-old Hattie Seymour from Leigh-on-Sea in Essex, was diagnosed with acute lymphomblastic leukaemia (ALL), on 21st November turning her family’s world upside down.
Brave Hattie started treatment this week, in an effort to rid her body of the leukaemia cells in her blood. She will find out on Tuesday 2nd December if the chemotherapy has been a success or whether she will need a stem cell transplant to hopefully cure her.
In a bid to show solidarity, her family has launched Hattie’s Haka, an appeal encouraging people to don their war paint and either video or photograph themselves doing the famous war dance made famous by the New Zealand All Blacks as well as make a small donation to Leukaemia CARE, a national blood cancer support charity. Since the appeal started on Monday (24th November), donations on Hattie’s Just Giving page have already exceeded £6,000.
After being contacted by Hattie’s grandfather, international rugby star, Kyran Bracken, has backed the appeal by photographing himself doing the Haka to help raise awareness of leukaemia and support Hattie and her family during a difficult and emotional time. The family are calling for the rest of the rugby community, as well as the general public, to get involved.
Katie Seymour, Hattie’s mother, said: “Despite this being an incredibly emotional and distressing time for us, we are overwhelmed by the huge amount of support we have had from not only friends and family, but total strangers, too. We never thought it would take off like this, but we are so grateful for everyone’s well wishes and we’re trying to remain positive and upbeat for Hattie.
“We have decided to support Leukaemia CARE because they not only help the patients, but the families affected by leukaemia too, so we wanted to give something back and help them continue their hard work.”
Kevin Hateley, Fundraising Manager at Leukaemia CARE, said: “A diagnosis of a blood cancer can be devastating for anyone, but when a child is diagnosed, it can be a terribly traumatic time for so many people. We are encouraging people to join in with Hattie’s Haka so we can continue to provide support to families just like Hattie’s’”
ALL is an acute form of leukaemia (cancer of the white blood cells), characterised by the overproduction of cancerous, immature white blood cells—known as lymphoblasts or blast cells.
One-third of all childhood cancers are leukaemia, with approximately 400 new cases in the UK each year. Approximately three out of four of these cases are acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL). ALL can affect children of any age, but is more common in children aged one to four.
If you’d like to donate to show your support for Hattie, visit https://www.justgiving.com/hattieshaka and upload your Haka photo or video to www.facebook.com/HattiesHeroes