A Leigh schoolboy and his family are rallying women to join the fight against the disease by entering Cancer Research UK’s Race For Life.
Seven-year-old Luke Holt will be the guest of honour at the event at Pennington Flash on Sunday, June 4 as he celebrates five years in the clear from cancer.
It is a magical day with an amazing atmosphere for such an important causeDeborah Holt
The St John’s Primary School pupil is encouraging people to join him, his mum Deborah, 44, and a group of friends and family at the 5km event.
Luke was diagnosed with cancer at the age of two, after his grandmother felt a lump on the left-hand side of his body while she was changing his nappy.
Mum Deborah initially thought he was badly constipated, but a quick-thinking GP referred Luke to hospital for a scan.
When doctors broke the news they suspected it was a tumour, Deborah and Luke’s dad Craig were devastated.
Luke was transferred to Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool, where he was diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumour, which is the most common form of kidney cancer in children.
He started intensive chemotherapy and in 2012 he underwent surgery to have his left kidney and the cancerous tumour removed.
Fortunately he made a good recovery from the surgery. Luke had more chemotherapy afterwards and has had regular check-ups ever since.
Deborah has already taken part in the Race For Life twice in tribute to her son’s courage and was joined by Luke at last year’s event.
Deborah, who works as a community staff nurse, said: “It was a terrible shock being told Luke had cancer when he was so young. But the doctors reassured us immediately that they were confident of treating him successfully.
“The day of Luke’s surgery was the longest day of my life and one I will never forget.
“I would urge all women in Leigh to sign up for Race For Life. It is a magical day with an amazing atmosphere for such an important cause.”
The Race For Life is a series of events held around the country by Cancer Research UK, which raises millions of pounds every year to find new ways to tackle cancer.
Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK’s North West spokesman, said: “Sadly, most of us know someone whose life has been touched by cancer. By taking part in Race For Life women in Leigh could help more men, women and children to survive the disease. Our aim is that one day everyone will beat cancer. The more women who Race For Life – the sooner that day will come.”
To sponsor Luke and Deborah, go to fundraise.cancerresearchuk.org/page/lukes-lovely-ladies.
Sign up for Race For Life at raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.