Prime Minister David Cameron, whose constituency of Witney includes Blenheim Palace, says: “There are few things more distressing than being diagnosed with cancer and, while survival rates are improving, there is so much more to do. My Government will not stop until Britain is the best place in Europe to survive cancer and organisations like Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research play a crucial role in achieving this goal with its compassionate care of patients and cutting-edge research.
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“All of us will know someone who has been affected by cancer. This is such an important cause and I want to wish everyone involved in the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Blenheim Palace Triathlon the very best of luck. Together, we really can beat blood cancer and help to improve the lives of cancer patients across the UK.”
One group of Oxford fundraisers who will be drawing on Cameron’s message of support are “Scarlett’s Dragons”, a team of 164 parents rallying together on Sunday 14 June in support of 10-year-old Scarlett Clarkson who has leukaemia. The group has already raised £62,500 for Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research.
Scarlett was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in January 2011 when she was just six years old. Unfortunately her initial chemotherapy treatment was unsuccessful and she relapsed, requiring further chemotherapy, steroids and radiotherapy.
Throughout December 2013 she rarely returned home, aside from Christmas Day when she had to be rushed back to hospital at 9pm with a treatment-related infection. She will continue to receive treatment for another year.
Scarlett’s parents, Dan and Bryony Clarkson, will both be taking part in the triathlon this year and are hoping to raise even more money and awareness for blood cancer: “We are aiming high with our fundraising again, as this is a cause which is so close to our hearts,” says Dan.
“Having a child with cancer has a devastating impact, both for the child and their family. If we can help reach a day when no other family has to go through the pain of having their child diagnosed with leukaemia, then the pain of our training will be well worthwhile.”
Scarlett met David and Samantha Cameron when they visited the hospital she was being treated. She was re-introduced to Samantha Cameron last year at a Downing Street reception held by the charity as part of September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.
To support Scarlett’s Dragons please visit www.virginmoneygiving.com/SomeoneSpecial/ScarlettsDragons. To keep up with all the latest news from the Leukaemia & Lymphoma Research Blenheim Palace Triathlon, visit www.theblenheimtriathlon.com.
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