CARDIFF’S Cancer Research UK superstore was officially opened by six-year-old kidney cancer survivor, Darcy Stone, earlier today.
The superstore is the biggest Cancer Research UK shop in Wales and the charity’s second largest store in the UK.
Located on Newport Road, the 8,000sq ft store is more than eight times the size of a traditional Cancer Research UK shop and all the profits will fund the charity’s life-saving research.
Darcy from Rhiwbina was delighted to be asked to open the store as shopping is one of her favourite hobbies, alongside playing football and dancing.
Her 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, 41, 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.
Darcy needed a scan every three months to check the cancer hadn’t returned to her remaining kidney. Thankfully, the scans have recently come to an end as Darcy has now been cancer-free for more than three years.
Ruth said: “Darcy was so amazing throughout all her treatment. I think she found losing her hair the hardest part.
“I sometimes feel the parents deal with it worse than the children who are so resilient. For Darcy, she was young enough that she has thankfully forgotten a lot of what she went through. We met so many other brave children on the cancer ward.”
Opening the store is especially poignant for the family due to the progress research has made to kidney cancer treatment.
“If Darcy had been born 30 years ago the outcome may have been very different,” said Ruth. “If we can fund more research, even more lives like Darcy’s will be saved as a result.”
Queues of people were entertained by a choir from Moorland Primary School before Darcy cut the ribbon alongside mum Ruth, her dad, Ian, and her older brother Dylan.
Cancer survival in the UK has doubled since the 1970s and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of that progress. But more funds and supporters are needed to bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
The store, in City Link Retail Park, has a huge selection of items at discount. Clothing, homeware, books, toys and electrical goods are all priced at £3 or less, with higher value items – such as furniture – identified with a golden ticket.
Every day around 52 people are diagnosed with cancer in Wales*. Money raised from the store will go towards funding Cancer Research UK’s work to help more men, women and children survive the disease.