A NINE-YEAR-OLD girl with cancer is a step closer to her dream trip to Disneyland thanks to a mammoth fundraiser.
Brave Chloe Challoner was diagnosed with osteosarcoma, a form of bone cancer, five months ago.
Her illness has turned her family’s life upside down, and she has been in and out of hospital ever since.
Keen to help lift her spirits and make her dream holiday a reality, Glen Devenish, landlord of The Connaught Arms in Fratton, held a fundraiser to raise money for the trip.
The event proved a huge success, with more than 60 people turning out and helping to raise £570.
Mr Devenish said: ‘Chloe’s grandad Derek is a regular at the pub and that’s how I heard about it all.
‘I said I could help by holding a night at the pub to raise money.
‘It was a great night. Loads of people came along and everyone had a great time.
‘We had a raffle and a collection bucket.
‘I also said I’d have my head shaved when we hit £500, just to make sure we did.’
The money raised from the night will now go towards the Challoners’ first ever family holiday together.
Parents Jamie Giblen and Becci Challoner had booked the trip to Paris for Chloe, her brother Connor, eight, and sister Holly, three, last year.
But Chloe was diagnosed with cancer just a week before they were due to leave, forcing them to cancel.
The youngster’s parents say they have been overwhelmed by the support of Mr Devenish and pub customers.
Mr Giblen said: ‘It’s very humbling everyone pulling together to do something like this.’
The family say the holiday will give Chloe a much- deserved boost and something to look forward to after a trying time since her diagnosis.
As part of her treatment she has undergone an operation to remove a tumour at the top of her right thigh bone and now has a prosthetic hip.
She has to wear a brace on her leg and is in a wheelchair, but is determined to walk again.
Mr Giblen said: ‘She has lost all her hair and because it affects her immune system she gets quite weak.
‘It’s very frustrating for her as she needs to get her strength back.
‘Every time we get our hopes up we get bad news, so we take each day as it comes.’
Friends and family are now trying to help raise more money for the family’s trip.
Mr Devenish has also said he wants to continue his support.
He said: ‘We will organise more events soon.’
Glen Devenish, landlord of The Connaught Arms, Guildford Place, Fratton, was told Chloe’s story by her grandad, Derek Challoner, a regular at the pub.
But Chloe was diagnosed with cancer just a week before they were due to leave, forcing them to cancel the holiday.
Mr Devenish said: ‘I want to do one better and raise enough money to send them all to Disneyland Florida.’
Mr Devenish wants to continue his support and raise even more money for the family.
He said: ‘It’s great that everyone is coming together to support her, we will organise more events soon and welcome any fundraising ideas.’