Eastbourne family’s plea for new home to help baby’s cancer battle

An Eastbourne family of four, including a baby with cancer, are fighting to move out of their one bedroom flat.

Friday, 8th March 2019, 1:32 pm
Updated Friday, 8th March 2019, 2:35 pm
Baby Elijah in hospital with his mum Charlotte

Mum Charlotte Eastwood says she, her partner Geremy, and sons Jamil and Elijah have been left in a cramped council home in Hampden Park for two and a half years.

In December they were hit with the devastating news that 17-month old Elijah has a rare cancer and now more than ever they need somewhere suitable as he goes through chemotherapy.

Charlotte said, “For Elijah to survive and beat this disease he needs the best opportunities he can. He’s got to enjoy what he has left.

Charlotte and Geremy with children Elijah and Jamil

“It takes a lot to break us, even with all this news we have had. We are fighters, we are very strong willed.

“But sometimes you wake up in the morning and think, I’m not getting anywhere. It feels like we are invisible.”

The parents are both full time carers who work 40 hour weeks and say they barely get any sleep at night due to neighbours being up all hours. One of them has to sleep in their living room with their son Jamil, three.

Charlotte said, “When you are being woken up God knows how many times in the night, you are running on no energy, lack of sleep and have got to do a full day’s work or in London for 12 hours with your poorly boy, it’s hard.”

Elijah (left) with brother Jamil

She says doctors have written letters asking for the family to be moved for Elijah’s health but nothing has been done.

“No one has updated us or got back to us,” the mum, 28, said, “I don’t know what else to do, I’m at my wits’ end.”

But it hasn’t all been bad news for the family. Friends rallied organised a charity bike ride which raised more than £1,400 for their travel and accommodation in London where Elijah goes for treatment.

Anyone still wishing to donate can visit www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/rideforelijah

Stephen Lloyd MP has also been trying to help the family. He said, “This is a desperate situation for both the parents, Charlotte and Geremy, as they are naturally very concerned for the health of their son who, unfortunately, has recently been diagnosed with cancer.

“As soon as Charlotte came to see me at one of my Community Surgeries I contacted the Council to ask that they do all they can to find more suitable accommodation for the family.

“To be fair to them, they have been actively working on the family’s behalf but it is extremely challenging when there are so few appropriate properties.”

A spokesperson for Eastbourne council said this week, “Ms Eastwood has been nominated for another property in Eastbourne. She was contacted this week to arrange a viewing.”