Six-year-old Horsham schoolgirl Ellie Mae Wile-Dunne was guest of honour at a special reception, hosted by Samantha Cameron, to launch Cancer Research UK’s inspiring new fundraising campaign Kids & Teens.
Ellie Mae, who learned to walk again after receiving cancer treatment, enjoyed a VIP visit to Downing Street along with 20 other youngsters from across the UK – all diagnosed with cancer – who visited Number 10 to have their bravery recognised and help raise awareness.
They also met celebrities and enjoyed a sight-seeing tour of London as part of their VIP experience on Tuesday January 20.
Figures released this week show that progress in treating the disease has led to a drop in deaths among youngsters aged 24 and under, from around 1300 deaths each year in the mid-1970s to around 550 today, the disease however remains the biggest killer of youngsters in the UK.
Cancer Research UK is calling on people in Sussex to donate to beat childhood cancers sooner and help save more lives like Ellie Mae’s.
Helen Johnstone, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for the South East, said: “It’s hugely encouraging to see deaths for children’s cancers falling steadily. But we must make faster progress to save more lives, so we’re extremely grateful for the support of the Wile-Dunne family and Samantha Cameron in helping to highlight the power of research in beating the disease.”
Ellie Mae’s mother Nikki said: “Ellie Mae endured months of treatment with unbelievable strength and resilience. I couldn’t be prouder of her so I’m delighted that his courage has been honoured with such a fantastic day, especially when she has missed out on so much.
Going to 10 Downing Street was an unforgettable experience for so many reasons, but most importantly because through supporting Cancer Research UK we can help to spare other children and families from this devastating disease in future. Success stories like Ellie Mae’s would not be possible without the charity’s life-saving work, which in turn relies on everyone who raises funds, so we hope people in Sussex will really get behind this crucial campaign.”
To support Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens text KIDS3 to 70200 to donate £37 or for more information about the campaign visit cruk.org/kidsandteens.