Sold-out fundraiser marks 18th birthday of Maddi Allan who died of cancer aged 7

·4-min read
The Allan family - Scarlett, 13, and mum and dad, Samantha and Mark.
Bottom right - Maddi before she died with mum and dad.
All images: Allan Family
The Allan family - Scarlett, 13, and mum and dad, Samantha and Mark. Bottom right - Maddi before she died with mum and dad. All images: Allan Family

The family of a little girl who died of childhood cancer more than ten years ago are celebrating what would have been her 18th birthday with a huge charity dinner dance.

Madison Allan, also known as Maddi, captured the hearts of East Lancashire during her almost lifelong battle with the childhood cancer neuroblastoma, before she sadly died on Boxing Day 2011, aged just seven.

Lancashire Telegraph: Madison Allan
Lancashire Telegraph: Madison Allan

Madison Allan

After her death, mum and dad, Samantha and Mark, from Lower Darwen, launched charity Maddi’s Butterflies to help grant the wishes of other children with terminal cancers.

And every year, to raise money, they host Maddi’s Big Birthday Bash to remember the youngster who helped raise thousands for charity herself during her fight against the disease.

Today (Friday September 23) would have been Maddi’s 18th birthday, and in the year she was due to come of age, the charity set up in her name also celebrates a major milestone - entering its tenth year.

Maddi’s Mum, Samantha, said: “On October 1, we are holding a 10-year celebration of the charity and will also celebrate what would have been Maddi’s 18th birthday, at the Whitehall Hotel in Darwen.

Lancashire Telegraph: Madison Allan and her little sister Scarlett
Lancashire Telegraph: Madison Allan and her little sister Scarlett

Madison Allan and her little sister Scarlett

“Tickets have already sold out, but we are having an auction and raffle, and a casino, so if anyone wants to donate raffle prizes, we would be most grateful.

“So many people followed Maddi’s story for so long and so many came to her funeral at Blackburn Cathedral, so we just wanted to let everyone know that we keep Maddi’s memory alive every day, and will be celebrating her life as best we can.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Madison Allan
Lancashire Telegraph: Madison Allan

Madison Allan

Maddi’s Butterflies, which has a shop in Prestwich, Greater Manchester, has helped hundreds of children since launching in 2012, many of whom have enjoyed a holiday at the charity’s caravan in Ribby Hall near Blackpool.

Every winter the charity also provides pyjamas to children with cancer at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and Alder Hey Hospital in Liverpool; and in May it holds Silly Hat Day to raise additional funds to make the small wishes of children with cancer come true.

Samantha said she is proud of her family’s achievements in creating a legacy for Maddi and in keeping the charity going for 10 years hopes her daughter would have been proud too.

Lancashire Telegraph: Madison Allan
Lancashire Telegraph: Madison Allan

Madison Allan

Devastatingly, Samantha was diagnosed with cancer herself in November and says she now knows what Maddi went through all those years ago.

She said: “I’m now going through what she went through, but I am an adult, and she was just a child, so it’s really upsetting to be in a position where I know exactly how she felt.

“It’s been difficult for me, so I can’t imagine how difficult it must have been for her.

Lancashire Telegraph: Scarlett at Maddi's grave
Lancashire Telegraph: Scarlett at Maddi's grave

Scarlett at Maddi's grave

“I’ve had a mastectomy, chemotherapy and radiotherapy and two heart attacks as a result, but I’ve been really focused on Maddi’s 18th as it’s a major milestone and I’ve just worked through it all as it means everything to me.”

Maddi’s family, including her little sister, Scarlett, who was only two went Maddi died, and is now 13, visit her grave every year on her birthday to take pictures with her headstone, which is shaped like a butterfly.

Lancashire Telegraph: Samantha, Mark and Scarlett Allan
Lancashire Telegraph: Samantha, Mark and Scarlett Allan

Samantha, Mark and Scarlett Allan

Samantha went on: “We talk about Maddi every day, we talk about her as if she were still here and celebrate birthdays and Christmases with her in mind.

“Scarlett is so excited about next week as this is the first time she will have attended one of Maddi’s birthday dinner dances. We’ll also be going out for a meal after we’ve visited Maddi’s headstone on her birthday.”

Lancashire Telegraph: Madison and her parents, Mark and Samantha, before she died
Lancashire Telegraph: Madison and her parents, Mark and Samantha, before she died

Madison and her parents, Mark and Samantha, before she died

Samantha added: “It’s been nearly 11 years since Maddi left for Angel Duties and it still only feels like yesterday, our hearts will never recover but we take great comfort in the hundreds of children we have helped in Maddi’s name over the past 10 years….her legacy lives on.”

For more information or to donate, visit: https://www.maddisbutterflies.org.uk/