THIS September – Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – a schoolgirl from Cardiff is urging people across Wales to clear out their wardrobes to help save lives like hers.
Seven-year-old Darcy Stone from Rhiwbina, who was successfully treated for kidney cancer, is supporting TK Maxx’s Give Up Clothes For Good campaign, in support of Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People.
Darcy – who officially opened Cancer Research UK’s largest store in Wales on Newport Road earlier this year – is urging people to donate any pre-loved quality clothing, accessories and homeware they no longer need to their nearest TK Maxx store.
When sold in Cancer Research UK shops, each bag of items donated could raise up to £30 to help fund dedicated research into children’s and young people’s cancers.
Darcy is one of around 90 children in Wales who are diagnosed with cancer every year*. Her family know first-hand how important research is in helping to save more lives.
Darcy’s mum, Ruth, a play worker for Cardiff Council, said Darcy’s diagnosis was a huge shock for the family.
“Darcy was diagnosed two weeks before her third birthday,” said Ruth
“We had been camping in the May half-term and that’s when I noticed a lump on the side of her body.
“She had to have a scan at Noah’s Ark Hospital to check the lump and that’s when we were told it was Wilms tumour.”
Wilms tumour is a type of kidney cancer that mainly affects children. Around 85 children are diagnosed with a Wilms’ tumour each year in the UK. **
Ruth, 42, said: “It was a very big whirlwind for us.
“Apart from the lump on her side, Darcy didn’t have any symptoms at all.
“It was very surreal. We had a healthy child one week, and a week later she was having chemo.”
Darcy, a pupil at Rhiwbina Primary School, had surgery to remove the kidney containing the 10cm tumour before having five weeks of chemotherapy.
Now cancer free, Darcy is a happy, outgoing child who loves football and dancing.
“It’s thanks to research that Darcy is here today,” said Ruth. “That’s why raising money for Cancer Research UK for Children & Young People is so important.
“Darcy and I will be having a good clear out at home and finding clothes and items to donate to our local TK Maxx store. I hope everyone in Cardiff will get behind this vitally important campaign and turn something they no longer need into funds for such a fantastic cause.”
Ruth Amies, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Wales, said: “More children and young people than ever are surviving cancer. But there’s still so much more to do.
“Cancer in children and young people is different to cancer in adults – from the types of cancer to the impact of treatment and the long-term side effects survivors often experience. So, it needs different, dedicated research which campaigns like Give Up Clothes For Good help to fund.
“Cancer still claims the lives of around 510 under 25s in the UK every year.*** We want to help more children and young people in Wales, and across the UK, survive cancer with a good quality of life.
“That’s why we hope as many people as possible will show their support and donate any quality clothes or goods to their local TK Maxx store. Unwanted items really could save lives.”
TK Maxx is the biggest corporate supporter of Cancer Research UK’s work into children’s and young people’s cancers. Since 2004, the retailer has raised more than £32.5 million to help improve survival.
Jo Murphy, Assistant Vice President of Corporate Responsibility at TK Maxx, said: “We are incredibly grateful to our associates and customers who have helped us raise over £32.5 million for Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work in children’s and young people’s cancers. We hope our support will go some way to improve the outcomes of children and young people affected by cancer.”
Give Up Clothes For Good is one of the UK’s longest running clothes collection campaigns. It also provides an environmental benefit through the re-use and recycling of goods.
People can donate at any TK Maxx store, all year round, including the Cardiff stores located on The Hayes and Newport Road.
Supporters can also help raise funds by wearing a gold ribbon badge – the awareness symbol of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – available from TK Maxx and Cancer Research UK stores throughout September.