Once she was an energetic girl who loved to do Zumba, but powerful chemotherapy has sapped much of the energy from 13-year-old Maja Rodecka.
But the teenager is overjoyed thanks to the tireless efforts of Zig Zag Day Nursery in Bourges Boulevard which put on a big fundraiser to help fund her dream of visiting Los Angeles to learn from experts about her new passion of makeup.
The event was a shock as Maja, who was diagnosed with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in February, had never attended the day nursery, but she was known thanks to her sister Lena who used to go there.
“It was an amazing day. Maja was really excited and happy,” said mum Joanna, of Wilberforce Road, New England. “There was so much kindness from people, some of whom I did not know.
“She had extra energy and she was running around, smiling. We could see this happiness, this energy from her. Normally she’s struggling to go to the shops. It was just a shock.”
Maja said: “I absolutely loved it and I really appreciate them doing it for me. I would have never raised so much on my own. I saw lots of people wanting to help me.”
The charity event raised £3,000, but what made it more special were the unexpected visits of Joanna’s sister Paulina and cousin Zuzia from Poland.
Joanna said: “A few months ago Maja said she really wanted to see my sister and my cousin, but she did not expect we would organise something like that.
“She has been going into hospital for chemotherapy and has not been seeing her friends at school because she’s not been feeling well.
“Before she was into Zumba dancing,but right now she can’t do anything like that. She doesn’t have the energy to do it. Her new passion is makeup.”
Maja was diagnosed in the middle of February this year after having lumps in her neck and armpit checked out. Joanna said: “It was devastating - we could not believe it. I was hoping they were wrong and it was something different.
“Maja is really, really brave. She’s such a strong person. We’ve been going in the right direction. The chemotherapy is working and the lumps are going down, but she has to continue with the treatment until July 2020.”
The charity event included a raffle, makeup stalls, games, food and hair braiding from Vegas Hair in Lincoln Road.
Amazon and One Stop also helped raise the £3,000 for Maja’s trip to LA, which she can look forward to when she finishes her treatment.
Chelsea Richardson from the nursery said: “Maja’s sister Lena came to the nursery from when she was a baby up until she left to go to big school, so we wanted to do something special for the family. We had such a good turnout and hundreds of people came to show support and donate money.”