A young cancer patient from Corby has been given a personal masterclass in fashion by one of the UK’s best-known stylists.
Sumiya Soran, 11, has taken an interest in fashion and design ever since she was young, and it’s always been a dream of hers to work in the industry.
But those dreams were put on hold when she was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma in December 2014.
Sumiya began treatment on Boxing Day that year, and underwent intense courses of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Her progress is still being monitored, but her treatment has now finished.
Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens arranged for Sumiya to meet fashion stylist and TV celebrity Gok Wan as part of its latest campaign to inspire people to support its life-saving research, which gives children like Sumiya a future to look forward to.
Today was amazing, I got to meet Gok Wan off the television, we had so much fun sketching and styling!Sumiya Soran, 11
Claire Owen, Sumiya’s mum, said: “Sumiya loves clothes and drawing and is really creative.
“She is always flicking through magazines following the latest trend and she dresses in a funky and quirky way with lots of different colours.
“She has always loved art and design, but she did it more when she was poorly as she could not go out and it was something she could do when she had to stay in so much.
“After all she’s been through, seeing the excitement in her eyes and the smile on her face meeting Gok really was a dream come true.
“I think it’s made her even more determined to follow her dreams now she’s had a taste of what it’s like!”
Over the course of the day Gok talked Sumiya through the design process and how he puts outfits together, they sketched outfits for each other and styled mannequins, and he also gave her fashion tips and advice on how to make it in the industry.
Sumiya said: “Today was amazing, I got to meet Gok Wan off the television, we had so much fun sketching and styling!
“It’s been a really great experience, and made me even more determined to follow my dreams.”
Gok Wan said: “I had so much fun with Sumiya!
“She’s an amazing young woman who’s been through so much but has such a positive outlook on everything.
“She’s got a really great eye for colour and style and I have no doubt she’ll make a fabulous designer one day – I’d better watch my back!”
Sumiya helped to officially open the Cancer Research UK shop at the Oasis Retail Park in the town last year.
The Kids & Teens campaign raises money specifically for research into children’s, teen and young adult cancers, and aims to accelerate progress and find cures and kinder treatments.
Claire Rowney, director of Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens, said: “In the UK, about 1,700 children and 2,300 teens and young adults are diagnosed with cancer each year.
“About three-quarters of 0 to 14-year-olds with cancer now survive their disease beyond 10 years and many of the 33,000 long term survivors have benefited from research funded by Cancer Research UK.
“But treatments can often have a devastating impact on youngsters and their families and can result in long-term side effects.
“So we’re calling on people up and down the country to support Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens to help give more children, like Sumiya, a future to look forward to.”
Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens aims to double the amount of money spent on children’s cancer research over the next five to ten years to help save more lives.
For further information on how to support the campaign, visit www.cruk.org/kidsandteens.