A MUM whose daughter died of a rare condition days before her tenth birthday has been honoured for her tireless fundraising for Bluebell Wood.
Dawn Cusworth, 46, was recognised at the Stars of Hoyland awards after helping raise more than £19,000 for the place she spent her last moments with daughter Mia.
Mia, described by her mum as a ‘really happy girl who was always singing and dancing’, was diagnosed with hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis in 2018, and died eight days later.
“When Mia started feeling poorly we thought it was just a virus, but she just kept getting worse,” said Dawn, of Wood View Birdwell.
“She wasn’t eating or drinking, and spent more of her time asleep.
“At the start of her treatment, we had to make so many decisions. I had to explain to Mia that she would lose her long, beautiful blonde hair.
“The doctors also told us the treatment could make her infertile, but we knew that because HLH was so aggressive, this could be her only chance.”
Mia’s condition rapidly deteriorated until there was nothing more doctors could do. She died at Sheffield Children’s Hospital, and it was the Dawn that made the decision to take Mia to Bluebell Wood.
“The care team couldn’t do enough for us when we arrived,” said Dawn.
“We spent what would have been Mia’s tenth birthday at the hospice and it helped being there with all our friends and family around us.”
Over the past year, Dawn has thrown herself into fundraising, organising a winter fair at Mia’s school, taking on Bluebell Wood’s Mud Madness race and holding a charity ball in her daughter’s name.
Now Dawn has been honoured at the recent Stars of Hoyland awards, taking home Charity Fundraiser of the Year.
“In just eight days, everything changed so rapidly for Mia, and our whole family,” said Dawn.
“Staying at the hospice after she passed away was so important for all of us. The support they offered was priceless, so I just want to raise as much money as I can for this incredible charity.”
Anna Gott, community fundraiser at Bluebell Wood, said: “Dawn is nothing short of inspirational and we know that Mia would be incredibly proud of all she’s done.
“She is a star in every sense of the word and we’re incredibly pleased she’s been honoured by her own community.”