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Family’s walk for charity that helped save Evie-Mae
EVIE-Mae Crawford was born with Down’s syndrome, two holes in her heart and diagnosed with leukaemia as a baby.
Now her mum Jo wants to shine a light on the research which has helped her daughter win the fight against the cancer.
Mrs Crawford, 36, and her oldest daughter, Chloe, 16, from Berinsfield, near Wallingford, have signed up to take part in a walk to raise funds for research to fight cancer.
Last October two-year-old Evie-Mae, Mrs Crawford’s youngest child, was diagnosed with aggressive acute myeloid leukaemia.
After six months of intensive chemotherapy she was given the all-clear from the cancer in June, and despite needing regular hospital monitoring is looking forward to a brighter future.
Now the Crawfords will take part in Shine, the night-time walking marathon or half-marathon which takes place next Saturday and raises funds for the continuing work of Cancer Research UK.
Mrs Crawford said: “Evie-Mae has been through so much, but she has come out the other side and we are so grateful for all the amazing care she has received at the Oxford Children’s Hospital, and also to Cancer Research UK for their continuing work to find treatments for cancer.
“My aunt, Margaret Fordyce, who lives in London, read about the Shine walk and suggested we do it together – and we are all getting really excited.
“We have been following the training plan suggested on the Shine website and although my husband Stuart (35 and a train driver trainer for First Great Western) isn’t doing the walk, he, Evie-Mae and our other daughters Amber, 13, and Freya, five, have been coming out with us training too. We want to raise as much money as we can for this great charity.”
The mum and daughter team will join about 13,000 people expected to take part in Shine, which is now in its third year and sees participants illuminating themselves with lights, glow-sticks and sparkling outfits to form a “human road of light”.
Mrs Crawford said: “We have our special T-shirts to wear and will be writing Evie-Mae’s name on them, as she is our inspiration.”
Evie-Mae’s big sister Chloe, who begins a course in childcare at Abingdon and Witney College this month, said: “Evie-Mae has been through so much, and while I’ve never done anything like this event before I’m really looking forward to being part of it and raising as much as I can for Cancer Research UK’s amazing work, helping people like my little sister.”
Shine starts and finishes at Battersea Power Station, and since it began in 2010 has raised nearly £9m.
Organisers hope this year that 13,000 men, women and children aged 13 or over will raise more than £3.5m to support pioneering cancer research.
Gemma Davies, Shine spokeswoman, said: “We’re asking people to light up London and walk all over cancer. By taking part they will bring hope to many people affected by cancer now and in the future.
“Participants can enter the full or half-marathon walk and whichever they choose, they will be part of a magical night, which will help bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.”
Entry for Shine closed on Monday.
s To sign up as a volunteer visit shinewalk.org