One of Chester’s bravest youngsters has given her family yet another reason to be proud of her.
Maisy Versey made the ultimate sacrifice at the age of just 10 when she donated her own bone marrow to save the life of her elder sister Jessica, who was battling leukaemia in 2014.
The rare stem cell transplant was a success but in a tragic twist of fate, brave Jessica, of Hatton Road, Blacon, contracted an unrelated chest and lung infection and passed away in June last year aged just 19.
Jessica had always been vocal about her gratitude to Maisy, now a Year 7 pupil at Queen’s Park High School, and her selflessness was recognised when she won the Child of Courage award at Dee 106.3’s Local Hero Awards last year.
Chester-based charity Miles of Smiles, who sponsored the awards, had been so touched by Maisy’s bravery that they raised money to send her on the trip of a lifetime to Disneyland Paris in May 2016.
But typical of Maisy’s altruistic nature, she has now passed up her chance to go to France, instead offering it to another child who ‘might not get a chance’.
A letter from the Versey family to Sue Thomas, the charity’s chairperson, reads: “Please don’t take what you are about to read as ingratitude on our part but after long discussions with Maisy and no small input from her, she has decided she does not want to go to Disneyland, the reason being that it is a trip of a lifetime and Maisy will have plenty of chances to go.
“With our agreement she is adamant that you should give her place to someone who may not get a chance. We agree with her and are both proud and humbled by her decision and in her words, ‘it would be great if someone poorly could go in my place’.
Sue and treasurer Gary Horton said they were ‘very humbled’ to receive the letter from the Versey family.
“Yet again Maisy has shown how she thinks about others,” said Sue. “Her family have a fantastic little girl who is willing to go without something that she automatically qualified for.”
Sue has had a tough time choosing a child to go to Disneyland in Maisy’s place in May, but has now chosen an eight-year-old boy called Tyler Williams who lives with mum and has had no treats since being diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes.
“Maisy will be invited to the meeting that Miles of Smiles will hold at the end of the month for all the families going on the trip to meet one another,” added Sue. “ It will especially lovely for Maisy to meet Tyler and his mum Gemma.”