Service Manager, St Helens Extra
5 Jun 2019
We’ve proudly supported Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life for the past 18 years, helping to raise awareness and funds towards vital research.
With this year’s series now in full swing, Beccy Smith, Service Manager at St Helens Extra, shares why her family support both Cancer Research UK and the Alder Hey Children’s Hospital.
“On Christmas Eve 2017, our world was turned upside down when we were given the news no first time parents - or any parents at all for that matter - want to hear. Our little girl Ada, (who had only recently turned one year old) was diagnosed with a rhabdomyosarcoma tumour in her lower bladder. Her chemotherapy would start a week later, and were shaken beyond belief. We were struggling for a while to get pregnant, then we were finally lucky enough to be given this amazing little girl. Words cannot describe how we felt.
As regular visitors to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital, it became our second home... eating there, sleeping there, our little girl going through the toughest time of her life. We had this overwhelming sense of gratitude towards every single staff member under that roof.
My mum and I completed Race For Life in July 2018, and raised almost £600. Donations on our JustGiving page went to Cancer Research UK, and our cash donations were used to purchase a huge trolley of non-perishable items to top-up the parent rooms on each ward at Alder Hey. These rooms where were I used to sit to have a moment to myself with a cup of tea, during some extremely lonely and scary times. I knew how much those items will have meant to parents undergoing similar challenges.
In November 2018, my family hosted a huge fundraiser to raise yet more money... only this time aiming for more! We had a huge raffle, DJ/disco, face painting, a balloon artist, burger van, cupcake stall, party games and even a visit from Elsa from Disney’s Frozen! We packed out the hall and the response was phenomenal, helping to raise another £4,250 for Alder Hey and Cancer Research UK.
After 8 months of chemotherapy, including an intense session of brachytherapy treatment at the University College London Hospital, we were given a final scan which showed the treatment had worked, and our little Ada was on the road to recovery. She is in no way yet completely clear, and will continue to be scanned for at least the next 3 years on a 12 week basis – but things are looking good. Without Alder Hey, and Cancer Research UK, who knows where we would be.
If you are thinking of taking part for Race for Life, or want to support others please get involved – you will really make a difference – and to everyone who has already taken part, thank you!”
You can find out more about Race for Life, and sign up here.