Sparkling display for brave Kiera

The house in Warwick Drive, Hindley and (below) Neil Taylor (left) with partner Gemma Caitlin and Lexie, Keira and Jeff Bannister
The house in Warwick Drive, Hindley and (below) Neil Taylor (left) with partner Gemma Caitlin and Lexie, Keira and Jeff Bannister

RELATIVES are paying tribute to brave little Kiera Bannister, who is battling against a rare tumour, with a stunning Christmas lights display.

The big-hearted partner of Kiera’s elder sister has decorated their home in Warwick Drive, Hindley, with a blazing show of strings of twinkling bulbs and tinsel as a fund-raiser for Cancer Research in her honour.

The lights are the work of warehouseman Neil Taylor who wanted to do his bit to raise spirits in these days of recession, while helping to raise cash to fight the disease.

Neil says that he won’t be worrying about the electricity bill until after the New Year, when he will finally pull the plug.

His own young daughters, five-year-old Caitlin and Lexie, seven, are entranced by the outside of their home.

Neil, 28, is hoping to raise as much as possible for the charity to mark her move into remission.

Kiera, the four-year-old sister of Neil’s partner Gemma, and whose dad Jeff lives in neighbouring Shires Close, was diagnosed with a Whilm’s tumour earlier this year and underwent surgery for the removal of a kidney.

The condition is so rare that it affects fewer than 70 children a year in the United Kingdom.

She was admitted to St Mary’s Hospital in Manchester for a successful five-and-a-half hour operation to remove the tumour and a kidney.

But it was the tot’s smile despite the weeks of energy-sapping chemotherapy that has inspired so many who know here.

There were so many lights that it took more than three days to secure them to the front of his home and complete the wiring.

He said: “I have no idea how many lights we have now put up, I haven’t counted them, but we all really love Christmas and celebrating it. I just kept adding them until it looked right.

“They go on at about 4.30pm and they are on until 9.30pm or so and they are getting a great response from people passing by and we are getting lots of cars slowing down to have a look and people are also stopping and giving up their spare change.

“I haven’t got a figure that I want to raise, whatever we get I will be happy with.

“Kiera had cancer earlier in the year and thankfully she is now in remission so we decided to dedicate the lights to Cancer Research in her honour.

“My own girls just love the lights and can’t wait for it to go dark each afternoon as soon as they come home from school, they are always on at me to turn them on. Kiera loves them as well!”