About Ilkley Candlelighters

Ilkley Candlelighters

Ilkley Candlelighters was formed in 1982 by two sisters, Rosemarie and Liz, who had themselves lost a brother when they were children. It was in 1982, when both were married and with their own young families that Rosemarie was devastated to find that her two year old son John was diagnosed with leukaemia.

Initially he responded well to treatment and went into remission but sadly the disease returned after a year and he died six months later.

The Ilkley Candlelighters was formed by a group of friends to raise funds for Candlelighters to buy equipment for the Children’s Cancer Unit, then at the St James’s Hospital in Leeds and now at Leeds General Infirmary, as a way of saying thank you to the staff who cared devotedly for John at the Unit.

After his death they continued to raise funds in his memory, inspired by the courage he showed whilst enduring often gruelling and painful treatment. No child should have to suffer as John did, which is why the Ilkley Candlelighters continue, thirty years on, to raise funds for research into children’s cancers.

Ilkley Candlelighters is entirely run by volunteers, meaning every penny raised goes directly to fighting children’s cancer in Yorkshire.

25 Years
Above: The first cheque handover over in 1982
Celebrating 25 Years
Above: Celebrating 25 Years in 2007 – Elaine King thanks Rosemarie and Liz, founders of Ilkley Candlelighters

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