Brave teenage girls lead walk to fight cancer

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TWO Sheffield teenagers fighting cancer will be leading the way on a five-mile walk to raise cash and awareness about the disease in children.

Ellie Phillips, aged 14, and Megan Armitage, 13, both from Woodhouse, met while undergoing chemotherapy for leukaemia at Sheffield Children’s Hospital and are getting ready to take part in the walk around Rother Valley Country Park on Sunday.

The event is part of a national fundraising drive called Emily’s Big Walk, and will be officially started by former cricketer Michael Vaughan.

Ellie has been fighting the disease for just over a year, and said: “I think it’s important to raise awareness because people talk about breast cancer and other cancers but no one mentions how many kids have got cancer.

“It’s been scary but the nurses have been helpful.”

Megan, who was diagnosed after Christmas 2011, added: “I want to do the walk because it’s raising money and awareness about cancer and other things. While I’ve been poorly my friends have been really supportive and everyone has been really friendly.”

Both girls have benefited from charity-funded schemes including sailing trips, short breaks with their families and trips to Lapland.

Cash raised at the Rother Valley walk will be ploughed back into the children’s hospital’s cancer services.

Prof Ajay Vora, consultant paediatric oncologist for Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, said he was supporting the walk.

“If we can raise some money to provide children with extra resources to enjoy their lives despite this illness then that’s fantastic, and if we can urge people to give blood for this cause then that’s also a good thing,” he said.

n The walk starts at 2.30pm. Anybody who wants to take part should visit www.emilysbigwalksheffield.co.uk, registration costs £6.