Dorset mum Natalie Stranger, and a team of friends and family, are running the virtual London Marathon this Sunday (4 October) after Natalie’s 10-year-old daughter Torri Stranger relapsed with leukaemia on the day she was due to finish treatment and ring the End of Treatment Bell.
Torri was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL), in 2018, aged seven. She underwent 28 months of gruelling chemotherapy treatment. On her last day of treatment, after a routine test the day before, Torri and her family were told she had relapsed and the cancer had returned but was now in her spine.
The now 10-year-old is currently undergoing more chemotherapy, steroid treatment and lumbar punctures at Bristol Royal Hospital for Children. And is suffering from many side effects caused by the harsh treatment, including weight gain from the steroid medication, steroid-induced diabetes, and tiredness and weakness – which has left her immobile at times and in a wheelchair.
In an effort to raise awareness and funds for childhood cancer research, Natalie, and a team of around 12 of her friends and family ‘Team Torri’ are taking on a 26.2-mile run around the streets of Dorset, Gillingham and Mere to raise funds for childhood cancer research charity Children with Cancer UK – so far the team have raised an incredible £60,000 for the charity.
Ten-year-old Torri plans to attend on the day to cheer the team on at the start, middle and end of the race.
Torri was seven when she was diagnosed with leukaemia, after going through 28 months of treatment with multiple highs and lows she seemed to be responding well. On her last day of treatment, we were informed that Torri had in fact relapsed. The cancer had re-sited into her spinal fluid. The only way forward for treatment now to rid her of the cancer is to undergo a stem cell transplant. Fortunately her older sister Alexis is a match and this is all due to go ahead straight away.
The whole family and our friends realise how imperative charities like Children with Cancer UK are in funding research to develop advances in medicine for children, especially as some of the drugs have heart-breaking and life-changing side effects. Kinder, yet more effective, medication might allow children to go to school and be with their friends. The one thing Torri always says to me is ‘I just want to look and be normal’. Losing her hair for the third time has hit her particularly hard. But we have to stay positive that it will come back even more beautiful.
To support Natalie’s fundraising, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/natalie-stranger
Children with Cancer UK’s press office
T: 0207 404 0808 M: 07 795 956 342
About Children with Cancer UK
Children with Cancer UK is the leading national charity dedicated to research into childhood cancer.
We fund research into the causes and treatment of childhood cancers and provide support for families affected by childhood cancer. We have accelerated breakthroughs to improve childhood cancer survival rates and find kinder, more effective treatments with fewer toxic side effects. This ground-breaking research, which would otherwise go unfunded, saves the lives of children with cancer. Children with Cancer UK receives no government funding and relies entirely on the generosity of donations from supporters.
About childhood cancer and Children with Cancer UK’s impact
Every day in the UK, 12 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer.
Fifty years ago, only 30% of children with leukaemia survived, and for most other forms of childhood cancer survival rates were even lower. Today, thanks to our supporters and the dedication of visionary researchers like those we fund, more than 80% of young patients can be successfully treated. More vital research is needed though as there are still a number of cancers affecting children and young people with low survival rates and life-limiting side effects. Cancer remains the single largest cause of death from disease in children and young people in the UK.