Charity gives support to child cancer protest

Kettering Wicksteed Park Pride in Northants awards evening: Excellence in Public Service, Adam Woodyatt, and sponsor Mark Daws(Waitrose),  and winners Chelsea's Angels Emma Knighton, and Michelle Tomkins.'07/10/11
Kettering Wicksteed Park Pride in Northants awards evening: Excellence in Public Service, Adam Woodyatt, and sponsor Mark Daws(Waitrose), and winners Chelsea's Angels Emma Knighton, and Michelle Tomkins.'07/10/11

A county charity which has raised thousands of pounds to support children with rare cancers is backing a national protest to fight for funding.

Chelsea’s Angels founders, Emma Knighton, of Irthlingborough, and Michelle Tomkins, of Wellingborough, have pledged their support for the Children’s Right to Life protest in the Old Palace Yard, next to Parliament Square in London on March 11.

It is being held to appeal for greater awareness, funding and support for childhood cancers.

A supporting online petition started just a few weeks ago has already got more than 6,600 signatures.

And Mrs Knighton and Mrs Tomkins are appealing for people to support the protest.

They formed Cheslea’s Angels following the death of Mrs Knighton’s daughter Chelsea in 2009 from acute neuroblastoma.

Over the last few years the charity has raised funds for more than 70 families whose children have been diagnosed with neuroblastoma and other cancers classed as rare.

Mrs Tomkins said: “Over Christmas, three little girls who our charity has supported all lost their battles with cancer. The families of two of the children had been fundraising for treatments abroad, but as with many cases the money comes in too late.

“Children with cancer haven’t got the luxury of time to wait for money to be raised. But these treatments aren’t available here so that is their only choice. Many children are being diagnosed too late, with parents being told that it’s growing pains, a urinary tract infection, a virus or attention seeking, only for huge tumours being discovered many weeks or months later.

“With Chelsea a 12cm tumour was found in her stomach – how does this get missed?

“We just want to make people aware that this is happening far too often and the NHS and the Government need to help and make changes. Too many children are suffering and dying because of a lack of awareness, funds and treatments.”

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