An extra special 'star' patient has lit up the night at Weston Park Hospital's first ever Christmas lights switch on.

Six-year-old, Darcy Jo Burke, who was sadly diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour in March this year, was chosen to turn on the hospital's Christmas lights in recognition of the immense bravery she showed whilst undergoing extensive radiotherapy treatment.

Darcy's family, who live in Darfield in Barnsley, are fundraisers for Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity and were delighted that she was given the special moment as part of the charity's Christmas Star Appeal.

Joining Darcy for the occasion was Carol Elrick, receptionist at Weston Park Hospital, who was nominated by colleagues to help Darcy turn on the lights. Carol was voted as a 'star' staff member because of the friendly way she welcomes patients and puts them at ease. Carol has worked at Weston Park Hospital for 29 years and always goes out of her way to help patients and staff alike.

Carol said:
"I'm really proud to have been nominated by my colleagues as a 'star' staff member and I feel honoured to turn on the first ever Christmas lights at the hospital and help spread some festive cheer."

The Christmas lights display is linked to Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity's Christmas Star Appeal, which encourages people to donate to the charity at Christmas time to give families in this area a brighter future.

As a thank you for supporting the appeal, supporters will be sent a special silver star Christmas tree decoration.

Sarah Cross, fundraiser, said:
"We are so pleased that Darcy was able to turn the hospital's Christmas lights on, and it was especially poignant as it is the first year that we've had them. Darcy is an inspiration to everyone and we hope she inspires people to support our Christmas Star Appeal.

"We're also happy that we were able to acknowledge the hard work of Carol, our nominated star staff member. Without the dedicated staff at Weston Park, the hospital wouldn't be able to carry out the outstanding work that they do."

Weston Park Hospital is one of only four dedicated cancer hospitals in England and provides cancer care to a population of nearly 1.8million people from all across South Yorkshire, North Derbyshire and North Nottinghamshire. The hospital is also home to an internationally recognised research facility.

The Christmas Star Appeal, sponsored by Irwin Mitchell, is being supported by both staff and patients from Weston Park Hospital. It is hoped the initiative will raise over £15,000 for the Cancer Charity.

Donations can be made online at www.wphcancercharity.org.uk/star

Weston Park Hospital is the only specialist cancer hospital in the region and one of only four in England. It also houses the only radiotherapy department in South Yorkshire.

The hospital provides cancer treatment services for patients across the region including Sheffield, Rotherham, Barnsley, Doncaster, Worksop, and Chesterfield.

Weston Park Hospital Cancer Charity is the only dedicated charity for Weston Park Hospital and exists to raise funds world-class cancer research and to improve the treatments and care for people living with cancer.