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Local schools join fun run to fight childhood cancer

A local school is encouraging others to join the fight against childhood cancer by registering for the upcoming Children’s Cancer Run in Carlisle on 29th September.

Staff at Shankhill C of E Primary School wanted to do something positive to support a colleague’s grandchild who has been battling cancer for a number of years.

North of England Children’s Cancer Research (NECCR) have brought the family-friendly run to the North West for the first time as part of their 40th Anniversary celebrations. The run is already hugely successful in the North East with nearly 10,000 runners taking part in Newcastle earlier this year.

The charity is hoping to build on this success offering a great day out for all the family whilst raising money for a vital cause. It is hoped that over 1,000 children and adults will take part in this inaugural run, raising a further £30,000 for research into childhood cancers.

Lynnsey Batey, Headteacher of the school said: “We were all touched by the way children’s cancer can affect an entire family and their school community. We saw how wonderfully well the hospital and charities cared for and supported the child and their family, bringing hope and positivity through moments of despair.

“Members of our school and wider community have been affected by cancer so we are aware of individual battles and of the amazing support charities like NECCR provide to patients of all ages and their families, as well as the pioneering research they carry out in the continued fight against children’s cancer.”

A lunchtime running club has been set up to prepare kids for the 1, 3 or 5 mile runs on offer. The school hopes the club will support the development of healthy and happy lifestyles, and the physical and mental benefits that can be found through regular exercise.

She went on to say: “We really want to actively demonstrate to the children in our school that each and every one of us can make a difference to our own and other’s lives through the choices that we make and the kindness of our actions. It would be brilliant if more schools in the North West would sign up too. It should be a great day out and a wonderful way to show our children that being charitable can be rewarding on so many levels.”

The charity has already raised over £7 million in the past 37 years through the Children’s Cancer Run alone to help fund research into childhood cancers. This funding supports a team of world class researchers based in the NECCR laboratories at the Wolfson Childhood Cancer Research Centre in Newcastle. Many children battling childhood cancer need to travel over from the North West to receive treatment at the local RVI hospital.

The new run was launched earlier this year at Bitts Park in Carlisle by Holly Brough, the little girl partly responsible for bringing it to the area, who has battled childhood cancer herself, and wanted to help others in her shoes.

Entries are open now with a choice of one, three or five mile cross-country routes, catering for all ages and abilities. All runners will receive a limited edition medal and a snack box to celebrate their achievement. All children aged 16 years and under will also receive a limited edition Children’s Cancer Run t-shirt.

An event village is planned with the CFM Roadshow in attendance, along with fairground rides, children’s activities and food stalls, making the event a great family day out.

Chris Peacock, Chairman of the NECCR, founder of the event and childhood cancer survivor himself, said: “We already have 14 local schools in the region registered to enter a team into the run and are hoping to encourage more schools to register over the next few weeks. Once you have registered your school we’ll send a box of promotional materials to help you get all of your school community involved in the event. Parents will be able to register their children and other family members to run as part of your school team and you will be able to see how much money your school has raised for childhood cancer research on our online School Leaderboard.

“The run is a fantastic way for people of all ages to get involved, make a difference and help more children live healthy lives in the future.”

40 years ago when the NECCR was first established, survival rates for childhood cancer were very low, at only 20%. In the past four decades, over £30 million has been raised by the public for NECCR 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.

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.

Individual and school entries for the run are open now at www.childrenscancerrun.co.uk.

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