Thanks to the JC for featuring this article.
Abi Jacobs, 13, has recorded a cover version of Jealous by Labrinth and hopes to raise £50,000.
A Borehamwood teenager undergoing chemotherapy for a rare form of cancer has recorded and released a cover version of her favourite song as part of an effort to raise £50,000 for charities that have supported her.
Abi Jacobs, 13, was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in December and has been receiving intensive treatment.
She said that instead of sitting around feeling sorry for herself, she wanted to do something to help others.
The song she has covered is Jealous by Labrinth and she is attracting support from celebrities including Matt Lucas, who has shared the YouTube video of her singing.
“I’ve always liked the song and I guess I just want to help people,” Abi told the JC.
“It feels great when people share and donate. Even the smallest amount makes a difference.”
“Doing the song and the video has really helped me cope with what has happened. It has boosted my confidence a lot and made me think about what is important.”
Her mum Lara added: “It has been six months since diagnosis and Abi has always loved to sing.
“When she was first diagnosed she stopped singing for a while but she started again. I’m so proud of her and the strength she has shown.”
Abi is receiving her treatment at UCLH and has had to spend long periods away from her family and friends due to Covid and the added risk to her immune system.
“It has been really hard in one sense because of Covid. But in another I haven’t missed out on much,” she reasoned.
She lost her hair due to the chemotherapy and has suffered nausea and severe headaches due to inflammation on one side of her brain.
“No matter what she has faced, she has always had a great sense of humour and likes to make everyone smile and laugh,” Lara Jacobs said. “It is her way of getting through it.”
When the latest round of treatment is completed, Abi will move into a two-year phase of “maintenance” chemotherapy. Her doctors are happy at the progress she is making.
Abi said she wanted to help charities such as Camp Simcha and Chai Cancer Care which had been lifelines for her family by providing therapy and support for her siblings.
Lara Jacobs added: “We’ve had so much support from the Jewish community and charities. My son has had equestrian therapy and my other daughter has had someone come from Camp Simcha to play with her.
“They have even helped with the logistical side to Abi’s treatment and set up an Uber account for us to get to and from the hospital.”
Chai had provided advice, and members of the family’s synagogue are providing them with cooked meals.