Supporters of NECCR gathered together on World Cancer Day (4th February) in Newcastle to help launch the 2020 Children’s Cancer Run, making personal pledges of how they’ll take action against cancer.
North of England Children’s Cancer Research (NECCR) organises the annual fun run and marked the opening for entries by gathering people affected by childhood cancer together to make personal pledges.
‘I Am and I Will’ is the theme of World Cancer Day 2020, encouraging people to make a personal commitment to reduce the growing impact of cancer. Those gathered for the launch were chosen for playing an important part in helping support those affected by childhood cancer. From scientists and nurses, play specialists to consultants, and survivors and siblings, all made their own commitments as to how they’ll personally take action in the coming year.
“We wanted to show how cancer doesn’t just affect the child, it affects the whole community,” said Chris Peacock, Chair of NECCR and childhood cancer survivor.
“Today’s gathering shows it takes a whole team of people to help fight cancer and provide families with support, whether that’s from scientists carrying out vital research into treatments and causes to nurses and consultants treating the children. Our corporate supporters and volunteers are also unsung heroes, who without their support, the run and the amazing sums of money raised just couldn’t happen.”
Fifteen-year-old Daisy Hodkinson from Cramlington made her pledge to become an oncology nurse, having seen her younger brother Tyla go through aggressive treatments to battle Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia in 2013 at the RVI aged just eight years old.
“Typical brothers and sisters argue all the time, but when Tyla was diagnosed I didn’t want to argue with him anymore. I wanted to cherish every moment we had together. Because of all this, it meant I had to grow up a lot faster. I felt quite helpless because I just had to sit and watch him in pain.”
She spoke of her plans to train to become an oncology nurse and treat children with cancer. “After seeing all the young people around the hospital I decided that I wanted to dedicate my life to helping young children and families that are going through the same thing I did.”
The event saw the launch for entries open to the 2020 Children’s Cancer Run which will take place on Sunday 17th May at Gosforth Park, Newcastle Racecourse. The much-loved family fun run, supported by Greggs, is in its 38th year and expected to attract nearly 10,000 runners.
The generosity of runners and supporters funds life-saving research into more effective and less aggressive treatments for childhood cancer. All the research is carried out by a team of world-class researchers based in the NECCR laboratories at the Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre in Newcastle.
40 years ago when the NECCR was first established, survival rates for childhood cancer were very low, at only 20%. Over the past 4 decades, over £30 million has been raised by the public which has helped to establish the North East as world-leaders in childhood cancer research. Now, thanks to research carried out and continuous improvement in therapy, that figure is reversed, with 80% of children diagnosed with cancer surviving the disease.
Early bird entry rates for the run are available until Sunday 31st March 2020. Participants can enter as a single runner, a team, as a family or with their school.
Last year, the event raised over £294,000 for the NECCR, adding to the £8million already raised by Children’s Cancer Run supporters over the past four decades.
To enter, join or create a team, or for more details about the event, please visit: www.childrenscancerrun.co.uk