Lulu Blundell: Film celebrating the life of brave Rotherham teen and Sheffield RUFC player up for award

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A short film celebrating the life of 19-year-old Lulu Blundell is up for an award in the Smiley Charity Film Awards.

Lulu Blundell from Rotherham sadly died on New Year’s Day 2023 at age just 19, almost four years after being diagnosed with a rare form of bone cancer called Ewing’s sarcoma.

In May of this year, a short film was released in celebration of Lulu’s life, and formed part of Teenage Cancer Trust’s #talkaboutdying campaign. In this film, her own inspiring words and reflections on living with cancer and a terminal diagnosis are read out by her mother Carolyn against a backdrop of photos and video taken by Lulu and her loved ones.

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Now, Lulu’s family and the charity are appealing to the public to vote for the short film, Lulu: Forever 19, to help it get through to the next stage of the Smiley Charity Film Awards.

A film celebrating the life of Rotherham teen Lulu Blundell is in the running for an award. Lulu is pictured here with her boyfriend Paddy. A film celebrating the life of Rotherham teen Lulu Blundell is in the running for an award. Lulu is pictured here with her boyfriend Paddy.
A film celebrating the life of Rotherham teen Lulu Blundell is in the running for an award. Lulu is pictured here with her boyfriend Paddy. | Submitted

Carolyn Blundell, Lulu’s mum, said her daughter showed “positivity, courage, determination and fierce independence” throughout her battle against cancer, and she “never ever allowed it to stop her making the most of every moment”. Lulu went through many months of chemotherapy and a lower leg amputation before she ultimately lost her life.

She said: “To see some good come from our pain has helped those who loved Lulu so very much keep on putting one foot in front of the other. We so hope the film and our contributions to it help others in the most difficult of times to do the same.”

The film sees Lulu share thoughts on how it is possible to find happiness in any situation and she urges others to make those around them smile, and not to worry about things that don’t need worrying about, because ‘life is too short’. Since its release, Lulu’s positive messages have reached people across the globe, including Italy, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, and Australia. 

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Throughout her cancer treatment, Lulu received support by the Teenage Cancer Trust team at Sheffield’s Weston Park Hospital. The charity's team also supported her at Newcastle's Freeman Hospital after Lulu relapsed while studying at university.

Intensive support from Teenage Cancer Trust and NHS colleagues meant that in her last months, despite being very unwell, Lulu was able to go to Glastonbury Music Festival, on a girl’s holiday to Magaluf, and do many other things she wanted.

The film shows the emotional moment Lulu crossed the line at her Run with Lulu event last September, a charity 5k she organised with her family and Sheffield Rugby Union Football Club to raise money for Teenage Cancer Trust.  Lulu ran the event on her prosthetic with a broken shoulder blade, as the tumour had become so large, and raised over £21k to support other young people with cancer.

Lulu's mum Carolyn (right) said she showed “positivity, courage, determination and fierce independence” throughout her battle against cancer.Lulu's mum Carolyn (right) said she showed “positivity, courage, determination and fierce independence” throughout her battle against cancer.
Lulu's mum Carolyn (right) said she showed “positivity, courage, determination and fierce independence” throughout her battle against cancer. | Submitted

Tragically, weeks after the Run with Lulu event, a scan showed that Lulu’s cancer had spread quicker than expected. She died at home on New Year’s Day. 

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In total, Lulu and her family have now raised over £100k for Teenage Cancer Trust’s vital work providing specialist nursing and emotional support to other young people with cancer.  

Heather Bowen, relationship manager at Teenage Cancer Trust, said: “We are so grateful to Lulu’s family for allowing us to share her story through this beautiful film, which celebrates Lulu’s life and the Teenage Cancer Trust and NHS staff who go above and beyond to support young people with cancer.

“Please do take a moment to vote for this film, that means so much to so many people, in the Smiley Charity Film Awards.”

Vote for Lulu: Forever 19 for a Smiley Charity Film Award here: https://smileycharityfilmawards.com/films/lulu-forever-19

Donate to the family’s appeal in memory of Lulu for Teenage Cancer Trust: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/carolyn-blundell3

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