James, six, of Horringer, makes loom bands for charity following mum Lily Daly's breast cancer diagnosis
When six-year-old James Daly, of Horringer, learned his mum had breast cancer he knew he wanted to do something to help.
So he opened up the kit of 2,000 loom bands his parents Lily and Mark had given him and kept practising until he became an expert in making bracelets out of the bands.
Now, the Ickworth Park Primary School pupil is selling the bracelets to raise funds for causes close to his heart – breast cancer patients and the homeless.
“It is a lovely thing for small children to do to help others," said Lily, 36.
"James had been talking about wanting to do something. We'd bought him some loom bands in March and then set up his web page.
"He wanted to support the homeless and we’d heard good things about Sunday Suppers. Then he wanted to do something for me, so we are supporting My WiSH charity's Love your Nodes appeal.
“James is a smart boy and takes things in. He wanted to feel like he could do something."
Demand for the bracelets has already been high, with Lily helping James to keep up with orders.
“In the first week he sold £184 of bracelets. That’s pretty good going," she said.
Lily has grade three, stage three triple negative invasive ductal breast cancer in both breasts, while cancer was also found in an internal mammary gland and lymph nodes.
“My cancer is non-hormone responsive and chemotherapy is the only cure for it. We have to keep our fingers crossed it works," said Lily. If treatment is successful she would have a double masectomy followed by radiotherapy.
“We have been very open with James, because I think children are smarter than we give them credit for. I think when I lost my hair it became more real for him," said Lily.
James is following in his mum’s footsteps as Lily makes and sells freshwater pearl jewellery through her online boutique Lilyo, however his choice of material has proved a challenge as loom bands are not readily available on the high street.
“I could hardly find them for sale in shops when they used to be everywhere, but I think James missed the craze a bit,” added Lily.
All the money from sales is split between the charities. Buy bracelets at www.charityloombands.co.uk or they are available at LP bar and restaurant, in Bury St Edmunds.
James will also run the Race for Life in aid of Cancer Research UK as part of the Love for Lily team on June 9. He has already raised £545.