Cancer sufferer needs your help at marathon

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A SCHOOLGIRL is urging her family and friends to take part in the London Marathon on her behalf.

Lorna Collyer, aged 14, from Tattenhoe, recently completed a 5km challenge after battling a very rare cancer which left her in a wheelchair, but is urging people to take part in the 26-mile race to raise awareness of her condition.

In 2006 Lorna was diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a type of tumour found in the bone and soft tissue.

Lorna, who is in Year 10 at Shenley Brook End School, was only eight when she started to complain about pains in both her knees. Tests failed to show up any problem.

However, within months her left thigh had swollen to twice its normal size and Lorna was sent to hospital in Oxford for an X-ray and further tests which confirmed she had a tumour in her leg.

As well as surgery to remove her femur and replace it with a metal plate, Lorna faced 14 sessions of chemotherapy and several weeks of radiotherapy.

Lorna has now regained her mobility with on-going physiotherapy and attends regular hospital appointments in Oxford to have the metal plate in her leg lengthed.

Her mum, Teresa, said: “Lorna has her leg lengthened by a tiny amount each time. It is a very slow process because she has growing spurts. But it is making a difference and she is getting there.”

Lorna has set a good example by facing her own challenges to raise money for research. She regularly takes part in Cancer Research UK’S Race for life at Milton Keynes with her mum and sister, Erin, aged 13.

At first Lorna took part in a wheelchair but earlier this year she had progressed to the point she was able to walk the entire course, which made her mum and dad, Paul, very proud.

Teresa said: “Paul and I were particularly proud of Lorna when she walked the 5K. She really struggled, but she did it. She gets frustrated from time to time, but just gets on with life”.

Paul said: “I’ve got huge admiration for everyone who is committing to run the Virgin London Marathon.

“I hope anyone who has been lucky enough to get a place will put all that energy and effort to good use by joining Cancer Research UK’s team and raising money for the kind of research that helped Lorna.

“In the future, their hard work could help someone they love to beat cancer. We were devastated when Lorna was diagnosed. We felt so helpless. But now she is on the road to recovery.”

> For more information, visit http://running.cancerresearchuk.org/events/london-marathon