Superhero Summit at the House of Lords

04 February 2015
Katie writing down her Superheros
On a cold night in January, Children with Cancer UK hosted a “Super Summit” for our Virgin Money London Marathon runners.

Communications Manager, Tom Thake, shares some of the evening’s highlights …

In the prestigious setting of the House of Lords, Children with Cancer UK brought together some fantastic supporters who will run the 2015 London Marathon to raise money for the charity. We called it a “Super Summit” as all our runners are superheroes and have been sent capes to train in!

We were delighted to give our runners an opportunity to meet one another, Members of Parliament, and a very special little girl called Katie.

Baroness Thornton

Baroness ThorntonThe event began with an opening speech from long-time friend of the charity, and our host for the evening, Baroness Thornton. Following a warm welcome to our runners, Lady Thornton talked affectingly about the 3,600 children and young people that continue to be diagnosed with cancer each year in the UK - more than 300 every month.

The money raised by sponsorship and donations is essential for funding vital research into improved treatments that not only increase survival rates, but limit the potentially harsh side effects that can accompany treatment.

Lady Thornton closed her speech by thanking our runners for their efforts - we certainly echo those sentiments!

£160 million raised since the charity began

a superheroLady Thornton introduced the next speaker, our Head of Events, Ben Twyman. Ben described the history of the charity since it was established by Eddie and Marion O’Gorman 27 years ago, following the tragic loss of their two children, Paul and Jean, to cancer.

They set up the charity so that no child or family should have to suffer in the same way. Ben spoke proudly of our impact in the field of paediatric oncology and the staggering £160 million that you, our supporters, have raised to help save young lives.

Unfortunately, however, children continue to be diagnosed, so our work continues and our goal remains the same as in 1988: to eradicate cancer in children and young people.

Our superhero runners play a big role in those efforts and Ben thanked them for their hard work and training, as well as the money they will raise.

Louisa speaks about her daughter, Katie's, cancer

Ben introduced our special guest for the evening, Louise Oates. Louise attended with family, friends and daughter Katie, to speak about their experience of childhood cancer.

Katie, now eight, was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2009 after what initially appeared to be nothing more than a childhood cold.
Louisa Oates
Louise spoke movingly about the massive ordeal of Katie’s treatment and feelings of despondency about whether she would ever get better. There with them from the start, Children with Cancer UK supported the family including giving them days out so they could have much-needed breaks from treatment.

Thankfully, Katie is now three years in remission and was looking happy and healthy as she watched her mum from the crowd.

Louise ran the marathon herself three years ago as part of the inspiring “Team Katie”, so was able to describe to our runners the magical experience of crossing the finish line. “After the hardships of training, that moment makes it all worthwhile!” she said. Louise thanked the runners and looked forward to cheering them on during race day.

Louise’s powerful speech received rousing applause. Throughout the evening runners thanked her for sharing her experiences.
That’s why I do it, that’s why I keep raising money.
Robin Miller, marathon runner

Robin Miller, who will run his third marathon for Children with Cancer UK this year, told us “that’s why I do it, that’s why I keep raising money”. Hearing from Louise first-hand touched so many people on the night and we’re very grateful to Louise and her family for sharing their story.

Roll on race day: #CWCHERO

The evening continued with the guests mingling and sharing stories of running, training and superhero outfits ahead of 26th April.

Our event partners, Realbuzz, and our Running Team were also on hand to answer questions and give advice, so there were plenty of opportunities to inspire and encourage in the build up to race day.

We can’t wait to see our #CWCHERO superheroes running the streets of London!

Here are some more pictures from the event:

Created with flickr slideshow.

Read more: Virgin London Marathon | Patient stories

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