Darcy with JLS
Darcy Jo Burke
Darfield, Barnsley,

August 12, 2007  - 22nd April, 2014
Cause: Diffuse Pontine Intrinsic Glioma
Favourite colour, purple
         "Fly high Darcy Jo, we love you so much. You were a true fighter and an inspiration to us all."

PARENTS of a five-year-old girl have described their horror at finding out about her terminal brain tumour.

Darcy Burke was diagnosed with pontine glioma - a rare brain stem tumour - just two weeks ago. Having complained of headaches for about four months, she was referred to Sheffield Children's Hospital after experiencing double vision.

Because of the tumour's position it's inoperable so Darcy will be undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy in May to extend her life expectancy from nine to 15 months.

In the meantime, mum Joanne Willis, of Darfield, and dad Dave Burke, of Wombwell, have dedicated themselves to raising as much money as possible to give Darcy a wonderful summer.
"I don't think it's really sunk in yet," said Joanne, 38, "there's so little hope that what we've got to do is try not to grieve for her twice and make the next few months the best of her life.

"The bottom has fallen out of our world and the family are absolutely devastated like we are. They can't comprehend how something like this could happen to an innocent little girl.

"It's something you never imagine you will have to go through. You read about it and your heart goes out to them but you never think it will happen to you. We don't sleep at night - we're just living on prayers."

But she added the 'overwhelming' support of friends, family and 'complete strangers' had eased the difficulty. 

About 200 bikers raised more than £3,500 for a girl with a terminal brain tumour with a 'big ride out'.

They rode from Sherburn-in-Elmet to Wombwell to raise money for Darcy's Days, a charity for five-year-old Darcy Burke, of Beech Court, Darfield, to have new experiences this summer.

Darcy herself was harnessed to the front of a motorbike for a short ride up Hough Lane to Wombwell Main Cricket Club where there were bands and a bouncy castle. One of the bikers, Dan Hockey, said the conditions weren't ideal but it was all for a good cause.

He said: "We had about 100 bikes turnout on the morning which was amazing, as the conditions weren't great for motorcycling, with fast winds and rain. But they adopted our motto for the day of 'we ain't made of sugar are we?' and braved the rain and winds.

"We'd like to thank all the riders for taking part, the marshals from the National Escort Group GB who did a brilliant job of getting us there safely, Kings Castles, Altered Images photographers, all the bands, everyone else who played a part in the day and those who came along to enjoy it with us, as we couldn't have done it without them."

Darcy was diagnosed with pontine glioma, a rare brain stem tumour, in April after experiencing headaches for several months.

In May she began radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatments to extend her life expectancy from nine to 15 months.

In the meantime, parents Joanne Willis, of Beech Court, Darfield and Dave Burke, of Aldham House Lane, Wombwell have dedicated themselves to raising as much money as possible to give Darcy a wonderful summer.

                                                                      From "Darcy's Days" Facebook Page:
A few weeks ago, Darcy was invited to Weston Park hospital (Sheffield) to have some photos taken and star on the front cover of their Spring/Summer 2014 magazine! We received 50 copies of the magazine and Darcy decided she wanted to sign them and sell them to family and friends. So far she has raised £128.41 which she is giving back to Weston Park Hospital Charity this week and there is still some money to add to this! We are all so proud of her, well done Darcy Jo here is Darcy's article from the magazine!
From 'We Are Barnsley' January 6th, 2014

BRAVE youngster Darcy Burke got the surprise of her life when she met her favourite band JLS recently.

Darcy, six, of Beech Court, Darfield, suffers from a terminal rare form of brain tumour, which is inoperable.

Darcy's older sister Jade arranged the meeting with the band's management ahead of their farewell concert at the Motorpoint Arena in Sheffield last month.
Darcy posed for photos with JB, Marvin and Aston and was held up by Oritsé. Band members also wore Darcy's Days bands on their wrists throughout the show.
From Darcy's Days Facebook, 23rd April 2014:

Our beautiful Darcy Jo grew her wings as she passed away just after midnight this morning. 

She was in the arms of her mummy and daddy, surrounded by those that love her as she left us at bluebell wood children's hospice.

She was so comfortable and pain free.

Fly high Darcy Jo, we love you so much. You were a true fighter and an Inspiration to us all 

Arrangements have been made for Darcys funeral. It will be at 12.30pm on Friday the 2nd of May at Ardsley Crem and then on to Wombwell Main Cricket Club to celebrate Darcys Life.

Children are welcome at the Main where we are hoping for beautiful weather and a bouncy castle. 

No flowers though please, we are instead asking for a donation which will go Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice in Sheffield to help them continue the amazing work they do.

Purple dress code of course:) if possible!

Hope to see you all on the 2nd 

Love from us all xxxx
December 19th, 2015
Spent the morning putting up Darcy's Christmas tree and making her special place a bit more christmasy  then a visit to Auntie Lynnes and Uncle Steve and out for lunch with Joanne Willis and Tilly Too x
September 8th, 2016
Thank you so much to everyone involved in Darcy's Cup - which was held on Sunday 28th August in memory of Darcy Jo-Burke. You raised an amazing £1546.50 for our hospice, which is just incredible.

August 28th, 2017

Cracking family day out weather good get up to Wombwell main 
Darcy's cup final 
Live music all day
Inflatable Olympics
Kick off 11 o' clock tomorrow.
All money raised going to Blue Bell Wood children's hospice in memory of a lovely little lady who is missed every day by family and friends.
Hope we have done you proud again Darcy.
R.I.P. Darcy Burke

Thanks to all refs that have helped out this year. Thanks to Wombwell Main for pitch for final.
Thanks to teams that played and donated.
Swathie, Webhelp, Worsbrough Common, Wombwell Main Youth.blma, Highgate Club.Wombwell Town, Ward Green.Pheasant, Plough, Fossils. Highstone Road, Caulfield FC & Esco.memories.

August 28th, 2017
A cracking day was had by all at Wombwell Main in this year's Darcy's Cup. A great success once again. We will update with all funds raised once they are all in and counted. Big thanks to all the teams that took part and donated. Also to the officiating staff, refs & linesmen. Thanks to Wombwell Main for the loan of the pitch once again. The winners were The Pheasant beating Wombwell Town 4-2; a great match. Last but certainly not least, a big thank you to Jo Gibbons for organising another terrific tournament in Darcy Jo Burke's name. Long may they continue. ⚽️⚽️⚽️⚽️💜💜💜💜
Story from the Barnsley Chronicle, 25th April 2014

Hundreds of people have paid tribute online to Darcy Burke who died early on Tuesday (22nd April 2014) morning following a year-long battle with a terminal tumour known as Diffuse Pontine Glioma. Mum, Joanne Willis, 39, of Beech Court Darfield said, "As a mother, all I wanted to do was protect her, keep her safe and free from pain. I couldn't do that any more. In the end, she was in so much pain, I'm just  glad she's at peace, but we'll all miss her forever."

Darcy went to Sheffield Children's Hospital last week and was moved to Bluebell Wood Children's Hospice. Joanne said, "I didn't want her to go to Bluebell Wood because it felt like the 'final nail'. It's a place you hope you never need, but I can't even tell you how fantastic the place is. It has kept me sane."

People had raised thousands in fund-raising events for Darcy as her parents knew she didn't have long to live and wanted to treat her and give her some wonderful experiences. She was unable to fly but has been to Disneyland in Paris, to Sheffield Arena to see her favourite band, JLS, and had dozens of trips to the seaside including her favourite place, Primrose Valley near Filey. Dad, Dave Burke, 44, of Aldham House Lane Wombwell, said he was extremely grateful that people they didn't even know from Wombwell, Darfield and across Barnsley had given time and money to help fund a 'wonderful year'  for Darcy.

"It's just been fantastic, the support we've had," Dave said, "she's had a wonderful year and had so many experiences. She really enjoyed EuroDisney, but I think one of the highlights was going to ~Brampton Raceway with the banger racing. She absolutely loved it and they even have a Nissan Micra which has been modified for children to drive with an instructor, so she managed to do a few laps herself."

Darcy's funeral will take place next Friday (2nd May) at 12.30 at Ardsley Crematorium, followed by a 'big send off' at Wombwell Cricket Club. The theme is 'purple' which was Darcy's favourite colour.