A NINE-year-old Stourport schoolgirl who has been receiving counselling from Kemp Hospice after her older sister died has been raising funds to give something back.
Megan Hoszko, of Hartlebury Primary School, has been supported by Kemp's bereavement councillors for the last year after her sister Kelly Cartwright died on February 13, 2013, from skin cancer aged 26.
Their mother Karen Hoszko, 48, said: "Megan knew that Kelly was poorly but didn’t know she was dying. She was devastated but Kemp have been fantastic. The worker from Kemp goes into school to visit Megan and she went on an activity weekend with them and had a really good time."
Megan raised £40 by raffling off cuddly vegetable toys at her school in aid of Kemp Hospice. "To us, it doesn’t seem like a lot but she’s raised it all by herself," Ms Hoszko added.
The mother-of-five said Kelly's death had brought her other children closer together, after her son and daughter Adam and Tracey Cartwright took it in turns to look after Megan when Kelly was diagnosed with cancer for the second time.
Kelly, who had severe learning difficulties, first found a lump on her foot in May 2011 which doctors, at first, believed to be a verruca.
After two operations, one to remove a third of her foot and later, a skin graft, Kelly was in remission.
Ms Hoszko added: "We went through all that and she seemed fine. She had three-monthly check ups, she went for one in November 2012 and the nurse said everything was fine.
"It was difficult to do the body checks I had to do but I did my best. On Christmas Day 2012, she complained of tummy ache. The next day she seemed a little better but she went out with her carer and they had to bring her home.
"She got up in the middle of the night and I found a lump on her tummy."
After going to the doctors, Ms Hoszko took Kelly to hospital where they found secondary cancer in her stomach and lungs. She was taken home and died six weeks later.
During that time, Kemp Hospice provided night sitters three days a week to give Ms Hoszko some respite from looking after Kelly.
Ms Hoszko added: "Kelly needed one-to-one care. I had six weeks with no sleep apart from when we had a night sitter.
"I just can’t say it enough how much Kemp do. We’ve made a group as well for bereaved parents and they also supported my son as he had bereavement counselling too."
For more information on Kemp Hospice's bereavement counselling service visit kemphospice.org.uk