A young Kettering cancer patient who was diagnosed with a rare type of bone cancer at the age of nine is taking a starring role in a national TV fundraising campaign.
Eve Lyons and her family were filmed at home and in hospital to help shed light on what life with cancer is like for children.
The emotional film has already been broadcast on Channel 4 and will be shown again tonight (Friday, October 21) during the live Stand Up To Cancer programme.
The family hope that by sharing their story they will inspire people to transform the lives of cancer patients and their families by supporting Stand Up To Cancer.
Eve, 10, was diagnosed with Stage 4 Ewing’s Sarcoma in July 2015 and underwent a year of treatment including chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
In June 2016 she was told the tumour had gone but relapsed the following month. She is currently having chemotherapy.
She was first diagnosed with cancer soon after winning three races at her school sports day.
She started to complain of a pain in her hip and further tests revealed it was cancer.
In the film Eve explains how she felt when she heard she needed treatment.
Eve says: “I was a bit confused why my mum was upset because I was a bit like it’s going to be fine, it’s going to be a few days or a month.
“They said how long will I be treated for? And he said, a year. Then I got upset. I didn’t cry but I thought it’s going to be hard not realising what was ahead.”
Eve lives with her mum and dad, Suzanne and Tommy Lyons, in Kettering.
Her older sisters, Meg, 22, and Beth, 19, are studying in Guildford but return home to help as much as possible.
Mum Suzanne says it’s been very difficult for all of them.
After 11 months of treatment the Lyons family thought the end was in sight.
Suzanne said: “In June they took us into a room to say the tumour had gone and things were going well.
“It was good news, but you always worry. I guess we were relieved but it was a strange, uncomfortable feeling to hear something good – it was hard to allow yourself to be happy.
“About 10 days after that Eve had an infection, which was not unusual.
“We were in hospital and she was given some antibiotics but she was in agony in one of her joints.
“Over the next few weeks we were in isolation a couple of times and they were looking at a couple of lumps which had appeared on the top of her head.
“Shortly after that, they said that she had relapsed – her cancer had come back.
“It was a year since the first diagnosis, almost to the week. It was incredibly hard to hear and Eve was so down and so grumpy.
“She had gone through all that treatment, and then this happened.
“It was so tough for her – she was raging with the world and in such pain, and having so many tests.”
Eve started a new course of chemotherapy using different drugs, but that has recently been changed again. She has just started her second round of the new treatment.
The Lyons family are now supporting Stand Up To Cancer as they are keen to raise awareness about the importance of early diagnosis and the need for kinder treatments.
Launched in 2012, Stand Up To Cancer has already raised more than £25m to fund translational research, which takes developments in the lab and transforms them into brand new tests and treatments for cancer patients.
Every pound raised will help to support this progress and bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
Stand Up To Cancer is supported by a host of celebrities including Davina McCall, Alan Carr and Adam Hills.
The campaign culminates with a night of live TV on Channel 4 led by the brightest stars in film, TV and music.
Eve’s story was broadcast on Channel 4 on the night and during last week.
Rachel Carr, head of Stand Up To Cancer, said: “The Lyons family has been through so much and it’s awe-inspiring to see how united they are, taking on cancer together and supporting Eve, and each other, every step of the way.
“We hope that everyone who hears their story will feel inspired to Stand Up To Cancer with them and raise money for vital research.
“We’re so very grateful to the Lyons, and particularly Eve, for sharing their experience.
“One in two of us will get cancer in our lifetime and that statistic is the driving force behind the fantastic partnership Cancer Research UK has established with Channel 4.
“Together, through Stand Up To Cancer, we are determined to raise money to save more lives, more quickly.”
Tune in to Stand Up To Cancer’s live show on Channel 4 on Friday, October 21. To donate £10 text FIGHT to 70404.