Family festival to celebrate anniversary of girl's multi-organ transplant

The family of eight-year-old Tilly Rae Rhodes are determined to party in style on Thursday to celebrate the first anniversary of her multi-organ transplant.

Geting ready for the 'Tilly Rae Fest', (front) Tilly Rae Rhodes, aged 8, o, with (left-right) live music co-ordinator Ben Millington, Tia Rhodes, aged 15, Pippa Millington, aged 8, (back left-right) Tony Rhodes, and Jodie Rhodes..
Geting ready for the 'Tilly Rae Fest', (front) Tilly Rae Rhodes, aged 8, o, with (left-right) live music co-ordinator Ben Millington, Tia Rhodes, aged 15, Pippa Millington, aged 8, (back left-right) Tony Rhodes, and Jodie Rhodes..

And they want other families to get involved too.

The Tilly Rae Fest will be held at Newport Ruby club on from noon until 7pm, packed with family entertainment and live music.

It is being held a year after Tilly Rae, from Lilleshall, underwent the multi-organ transplant, the first of its kind in the UK.

Mum, Jodie, said the day would be free to go in with charges for some of the activities.

"We have a 65 foot bouncy castle assault course which will be great fun, archery and and a sports day with medals for all those taking part."

There will be stalls, live music and a bar, face paints and glitter tattoos and display from the police and fire service.

"We wanted to give everyone a great day out where they can forget about Covid for a while."

Jodie, said she had promised her daughter, and big sister, Tia, a party during the dark days of Tilly Rae's cancer treatment. The party idea grew into a family festival for everyone.

The family has raised about £4,000 for charities and to provide goody bags for children and staff in hospital since the transplant and has also promoted the importance of being an organ donor.

Money raised at the festival will go to a transplant charity at the Birmingham Children's Hospital.

After being diagnosed with stage four liver cancer in January 2020, Tilly underwent months of treatment, including a multiple-organ transplant and chemotherapy – all while she and her family had to shield due to the pandemic.

Doctors said she would spent three months in hospital after her transplant in August last year, but she was home in three and a half weeks.

To find out more about Tilly’s fundraising efforts visit shopwithtilly.com or the Facebook page TillyRae Merch.

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