A 10-year-old cancer patient from Corby was the special guest at the official opening of Cancer Research UK’s brand new charity shop in the town.
The shop, at the Oasis Retail Park, will sell a range of items for £3 or less – offering people an affordable way to shop and support the charity’s life-saving research.
Kingswood Primary Academy School pupil Sumiya Soran became poorly last July.
At first she was treated for Nephrotic Syndrome but her family asked for some blood tests as well – Hodgkins Lymphoma was diagnosed in December 2014.
Sumiya started chemotherapy on Boxing Day. She’s since had a lumber puncture, tumours on her spleen and neck removed, chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
Her treatment has finished for now and Sumiya is having some tests following a fall.
The brave pupil wants to raise awareness about the need for research into childhood cancers and was over the moon to be asked to help open the shop.
Mum Claire, 33, said: “To hear she had cancer was a soul destroyer.
“It’s something you never expect, you never think it will be your child – it changes your life.
“She’s spent so much time in hospital, she’s lived in hospitals since December she’s been that poorly.
“Sumiya’s brother Sam is seven and he doesn’t see much of us at all, my parents are looking after him.
“She had tumours removed from her neck and spleen – the one on her neck was stopping her swallowing.
“She couldn’t eat for months and the weight dropped off her.
“Now she’s on steroids it piles back on. She has an operation next month as well.
“She’s been through the mill and back but she’s still all smiles.
“She was a healthy girl, dancing, swimming, always running about but now she has all these illnesses and can fall on the stairs.
“She’s gone from being really independent to needing my help for lots of things, it’s really frustrating for her.
“She wants to raise awareness, to show people that cancer happens to children.
“She wants to help other families going through it.”
The Corby shop will sell quality clothes, accessories and household goods, with all profits going to the charity’s work to help beat cancer sooner.
Cancer Research UK’s Area Manager Claire Pusey said: “We’re delighted to be opening a new shop in Corby and hope that local people will pop by and see what bargains can be found.
“We are so grateful to Sumiya and her mum for coming along to be our special guests.
“Her story brings home the importance of raising funds to support the charity’s ground-breaking work into the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of cancer.”
The shop will feature a community board with health information leaflets.
Hanging tickets detailing the charity’s science and stories are also dotted through the clothing rails.
Claire added: “As well as providing a great shopping experience, we hope the shop will inform, engage and inspire our supporters.
“People can help get our new shop off to a flying start by shopping with us, donating stock for our shelves or generously offering their time as volunteers.
“We have a number of volunteer roles on offer from serving customers to dressing windows.
“No matter how much time a person can give or what their experience, we would love for them to get in touch.”
Donations of good-quality clothes, shoes and bags are always needed as well as household items, books and CDs or DVDs.
Each bag of clothes donated Cancer Research UK is worth about £25 – even more if people sign up for Gift Aid.
To find out more about volunteering at the store call Terina on 07770 282 132.