A BRAVE schoolgirl has launched a fundraising campaign to help a classmate fighting leukaemia, despite her own battle with a painful disease.
Kendra Agnew, 14, who lives on Nigel Gresley Close in Crewe, suffers from lupus, a disease of the immune system which almost killed her at the age of 10 and has left her allergic to daylight.
But the determined Sandbach High School pupil has brushed aside her problems to organise a fundraising event for her friend Charlee Taylor, 13, who is undergoing chemotherapy to fight leukaemia.
Kendra's mum, Paula, said: 'I am very proud of Kendra. She is a fighter and very courageous. I am not surprised she thought of doing this for Charlee, despite her own illness.'
Lupus causes the immune system to treat the body's own tissue as a foreign substance and produce antibodies to fight it.
The damage caused by these antibodies may produce symptoms such as a facial rash, headaches, severe fatigue, arthritic joint disease, heart damage, shortness of breath and impaired kidney function.
It follows an irregular course of remissions and flare-ups and may often be incapacitating. The disease strikes women nine times more than men.
Kendra was struck down at the age of 10, when she attended Wistaston Primary School. Accurate diagnosis came at such a late stage that her family were called to her hospital bedside and prepared by doctors for her to die.
But the youngster battled through and, despite having one kidney removed, has made a remarkable recovery to be able to attend school.
Paula, who is married to Paul and has a son, Cameron, four, said: 'Kendra has to visit hospital quite often and has to wear factor-60 sun cream all the time because of her allergy to daylight.
'She can get swollen joints and get extremely tired very quickly. But she still manages to do well at school and is a Cheshire junior county golfer and an active member of the ladies' team at Wychwood Park Golf Club.
'There is no cure for lupus and Kendra will have to manage it with drugs for the rest of her life, but I am confident that she won't let it hold her back. Charlee is undergoing chemotherapy and Kendra wanted to support her.'
Kendra is organising a 70s and 80s production which will be held at Sandbach High School in April.
The event will feature more than 50 youngsters and is being choreographed by former Chronicle reporter and dance expert Leanne Claydon.
Now she is appealing for donations of raffle prizes and costumes to help make the event a success. All proceeds will go towards lupus and leukaemia charities. Anyone who would like to donate items can call Paula or Kendra on 01270 588282.