Young victims urge home town of Wantage to stand up to cancer

Herald Series: Wantage charity champion Ray Collins, third from right, with Maisie Norton, 15, and Mikayla Beames, seven, who have suffered cancer, joined by campaigners pushing the town’s Standing Up to Cancer day Wantage charity champion Ray Collins, third from right, with Maisie Norton, 15, and Mikayla Beames, seven, who have suffered cancer, joined by campaigners pushing the town’s Standing Up to Cancer day

TWO girls diagnosed with cancer before they were 11 have asked their whole town to help fight the disease.

Maisie Norton, 15, has beaten cancer twice, and seven-year-old Mikayla Beames is still fighting a brain tumour she will have for the rest of her life.

Both girls are helping organise Wantage Standing up to Cancer, which will see the town’s market place transformed into a fundraising fair on April 27 for Cancer Research UK and other charities.

Both girls will take part in a 5km race on the day – Mikayla in a wheelchair – to help raise funds to battle the disease.

Maisie, who goes to King Alfred’s School, Wantage, has fought off two tumours and had the all-clear in 2012.

Mikayla Beames was four when she was diagnosed with a brain tumour the week before Christmas 2009.

In January 2010, she had a nine-hour operation during which doctors found they could only remove 15 per cent of the tumour without damaging her brain.

After that, she went through a punishing 85 weeks of chemotherapy at John Radcliffe Children’s Hospital, Oxford, where she also met fellow sufferer Maisie.

She now divides her time between Wantage CofE School and the hospital where she is still having chemotherapy.

Mikayla’s mum Natasha, 33, said: “She will have cancer for the rest of her life. It’s not something that’s curable.

Event organiser Ray Collins, 44, said: “I am asking the fantastic community of Wantage to come along and show their support on this very special day “It will be the biggest cancer charity event Wantage has ever seen.”

The event on Sunday, April 27, will start at 10am, finishing around 3pm, and feature numerous fundraising activities, including Ray’s Race for Life. Mr Collins will be at the new Mix community shop, Mill Street, every day until February 15, where people can sign up for fundraising events.

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