Sheffield girl’s torchlit thank you to staff for saving mum

Heather and Lilia Smith
Heather and Lilia Smith
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An eight-year-old girl has put her name down for a sponsored torchlit walk to thank the hospital which treated her mum for bowel cancer.

Heather Smith, from Oughtibridge, was diagnosed with the disease at just 37, and underwent life-saving surgery and chemotherapy at Weston Park hospital.

Three years on, Heather will be joined by her daughter Lilia to take part in the Light The Night walk, in aid of the hospital’s cancer charity.

The 4.5km walk, on September 28 through Ecclesall Woods, is to be started by Olympic gold medallist Jessica Ennis-Hill.

Heather, who trains call handlers for South Yorkshire Police and is married to John, 42, said: “When I was told the devastating news that I had cancer, my life turned upside down. I was also faced with the task of breaking the news to Lilia – that was the hardest part.

“I explained to her there was something bad in my tummy which needed to be taken out and I needed to have an operation.”

Heather added: “After receiving surgery at the Northern General and chemotherapy at Weston Park, I was able to start leading a normal life again.”

Oughtibridge Primary pupil Lilia said: “When my mum told me she had cancer I felt sad and didn’t feel too good. I want to do the sponsored walk because Weston Park Hospital saved my mum and made her better again.”

Heather’s mum, Jean Rooney, 69, will join her daughter and granddaughter for Light the Night - and the top fundraisers will get the chance to have their photo taken with Jessica Ennis-Hill.

n Visit www.wphcancercharity.org.uk/light to sign up or call 0114 226 5370.