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Deserving Family given Christmas by Hythe House Support, Sittingbourne and BRFM

After receiving nominations from our listeners we put together an independent panel to make the final decision. BRFM and Hythe House had no input into the final decision. On Wednesday afternoon myself (Karen Day) and presenter Peter Finch visited the family with everything we collected for the family.

Winning nomination: Can I please enter a Family into the big Christmas giveaway competition.  Sam Purdy is mum to twins Shannon and Isobel age 10 and son Justin age 14. Sam’s mum has terminal cancer and the family have been struggling to deal with this. In November, the family were struck with more heartache… Over the last few months Shannon has been feeling poorly and a rash appeared all over her little body.  She was taken to the doctors who also noticed that her little body had lots of bruising but being the active little girl she is, the bruising is a common sight for Sam…dancing into things and bumping herself from running around was always normal.  Sam was told it was a suspected platelet concern.   As a parent, that concern was already very worrying.  Later that evening of the 7th November 2015, Sam’s world came crashing down around her, she was faced with a diagnosis of leukaemia.  T cell Leukaemia ALL, Acute lymphoblastic leukaemia is her exact diagnosis. Shannon took all the news in her stride not realising for a moment just how poorly she was and still is.  Sam shook herself off and realised she had to be strong, how could she expect Shannon to be strong if she showed her any fear or weakness?…that was her attitude.  Shannon was later transferred to the cancer research centre, The Royal Marsden hospital in Surrey which is over 40 miles away from our home town.   Sam has travelled to and from countless times already to still be a mummy to Isobel and also their older brother Justin.  Shannon was an inpatient here for over 2 weeks  and is responding so well to the chemotherapy treatment.  She’s had countless blood transfusions, countless bone marrow collections and a pip line inserted.  She’s due to have a chest port in December, this obviously carries risks for her also. Sadly Shannon lost her hair after just 3 weeks of treatment, which I’m sure anyone who has a ten year old daughter would understand how difficult this is for Shannon. She is only a few weeks into her battle and Shannon will now undergo treatment for a minimum of two years. What I want to do is try and make life a tiny bit easier for my friend over Christmas.  Sam is unable to work as she is a self-employed hair dresser and at the moment her precious time is devoted to her 3 children, mainly hospital appointments and caring for Shannon.  Sam’s partner Calvin is doing all he can to support the family financially but this is a struggle.   My friend Jo Murphy and I are trying to organise a fundraising day next year to try to help ease some of the financial strain. This family are most definitely in need of a boost in morale over Christmas. Winning this competition would certainly do that, especially as Shannon will be very poorly over Christmas.

Sam, her mum (Lin) her dad, Shannon and Isobel and Justin were there to receive us. They were over the moon and totally in awe of what her friends have done for her.


Shannon is a very brave little girl and her treatment is intense to the point of home Chemo therapy tablets as well as hospital trips to The royal Marsden one or twice a week. Sam explained that she had to give up work as a self-employed hairdresser as her time has been taken up with hospital visits and nurse home visits. All this and she has two other children to look after as well.

Sam said, without my friends and family I don’t know what I could have done. When things like this happen in your life you find out who your true friend really are and I’ve got fantastic friends and I can’t thank them enough.

Lin, Sam’s mum is terminally Ill with Cancer and has stopped treatment to enjoy what time she has left with her family. She has formed a special bond with Shannon and they talk through what is happening with Shannon’s treatment and how it is making her feel and what it is doing to her body.

Sam thanked BRFM and also a big special thank you to Hythe House Support who without their sponsorship this Big Giveaway would not have happened. With the sponsorship they received presents for everyone, Turkey and all the trimmings for Christmas dinner, decorations for the house and tree. Also a Christmas tree provided by Mossey’s Garden Center, Sittingbourne and a manicure and shellac voucher from Heaven Hair and Beauty in Iwade. A Bluetooth audio system from M D Thompson.co.uk, electrical wholesalers.

BRFM would also like to thank Hythe House Support for their help in making a families Christmas one to remember..

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.