Woodhall Spa woman leads the way to raise funds for cancer-stricken girl

Phil Cantwell and Gill Hodgson.
Phil Cantwell and Gill Hodgson.

Horncastle area businesses have rallied round to raise over £1,600 for a young girl who is battling brain cancer.

The plight of Demi Knight, 11, from Louth - who is currently battling cancer for the second time and recently had to travel to Texas for experimental treatment costing tens of thousands of pounds - has touched the hearts and minds of people across Lincolnshire and beyond.

Demi Knight.

Demi Knight.

Woodhall Spa fitness instructor, Gill Hodgson, is one of the many people who were touched by Demi’s devastating story.

Gill has led an urgent mission to raise money to fund Demi’s ongoing medical treatment abroad, raising over £1,600 in just two weeks.

Gill said: “I read about Demi and I wanted to help, so initially we held a fund-raising barbecue at our home which raised £100.

“I realised this wasn’t even a drop in their ocean, so I decided we needed to up our game. So, with the help of Horncastle restaurant owner Phil Cantwell, we approached other local businesses for prizes and organised a raffle.”

With the help and generous support of Gill’s friends and clients, the fundraising duo received more than 60 prizes and vouchers from many local businesses, including Thai Dining and Riverside Grill, Shakesby’s, Good For Books, Tanya’s Coffee Shop, and The Bridge Cafe.

Gill continued: “So many individuals also donated, including my good friend Kate Bushell who raised almost £300 herself.

“The generosity of people made me quite emotional!”

Demi recently returned from Texas, but is now set to travel to Poland twice a month to receive ongoing treatment not available in the UK, at an estimated cost of between £16,000 and £17,000 per month.

Gill said: “Demi’s treatment is so expensive, and such an upheaval for her family.

“I hope that the amount we have raised is a bigger drop in their ocean for them and I will continue to support this campaign however I can.”