Cancer children's courage earns Star Status

Cancer Research UK

THE COURAGE of British children who’ve encountered cancer is to be recognised with a unique award backed by celebrities including Leona Lewis, the Jonas Brothers and athletics phenomenon Usain Bolt.

Cancer Research UK has launched its annual Little Star Awards in partnership with TK Maxx.

And relatives and friends of young cancer patients or survivors from across the region are being urged to nominate them now for special recognition in the run up to Christmas.

Last year 290 children from across the UK received a Little Star Award.

Unlike many other children’s awards, there is no judging panel because Cancer Research UK and TK Maxx believe each and every child who confronts cancer is extra special.

Cancer Research UK is the largest single funder of research into children’s cancer in the UK having spent more than £9 million last year. The charity has been at the heart of huge advances in treatments. In the 1960s around a quarter of children with cancer survived, whereas today three quarters survive.

That progress, coupled with determination to improve survival rates still further, inspired TK Maxx to get together with Cancer Research UK, who they have partnered with since 2004. The labels-for-less retailer has already raised a staggering £3.2 million to help beat children’s cancer and aims to raise over £6 million for groundbreaking research by 2010.

Each recipient will receive a £50 TK Maxx gift card, a chrome trophy and a certificate signed by a host of stars from the worlds of TV, music and sport.

Martin McGlown, head of patient liaison for Cancer Research UK, said: “The Little Star Awards – now in their seventh year - allow us to recognise the unique challenges faced by youngsters diagnosed with cancer and salute their courage.

"We are delighted that recipients will this year have £50 to spend on toys, books or fashion as part of TK Maxx’s wider commitment to supporting children with cancer."

Susanne Given, Managing Director TK Maxx UK and Ireland, said: “The Little Star Awards are a fantastic way of recognising the courage of children who have faced a diagnosis of cancer and the support they receive from families and friends.

"Thousands more people are alive today thanks to Cancer Research UK’s work on children’s cancer. We’ve supported the charity since 2004 and are very pleased to be supporting the Little Star Awards again this year."

Cancer is the most common cause of death from illness in children aged between one and 14. Each year, about 1,500 children in the UK are diagnosed with the disease - that is around one in every 500.

Other celebrities supporting Cancer Research UK’s Little Star Awards include Manchester United legend Ryan Giggs, Britain’s Got Talent winners Diversity and Tracey Beaker actress Dani Harmer.

Leona Lewis said: "I am delighted to be helping to celebrate the courage of children with cancer by backing Cancer Research UK’s Little Star Awards. More children than ever before are surviving cancer thanks to research and I believe the awards are a great way of raising awareness and highlighting the progress that is being made."

To nominate a Little Star email littlestar@cancer.org.uk or visit www.cancerresearchuk.org/littlestar

The awards are open to all under 18s who have cancer or have been treated for the disease in the last five years.

Notes to Editor

Due to limited availability, £50 TK Maxx vouchers will only be issued in respect of the first 300 Little Star nominations received by Cancer Research UK.

About TK Maxx

  • TK Maxx is a designer brands-for-less retailer implementing a unique ‘off-price’ concept which originated in the US. It sells designer and high street brands of womenswear, menswear, homeware, gifts and accessories at up to 60% less than the recommended retail price (RRP.)
  • TK Maxx launched in the UK in 1994 and now has over 200 stores nationwide.
  • Opportunistic buying and a no frills operation means TK Maxx can pass huge savings onto the customer. A typical store has over 50,000 items in stock and receives 10,000 new pieces, styles and colours a week, which means stock is consistently fresh.

For more information visit the TK Maxx website

TK Maxx is part of TJX Europe, the European subsidiary of the US group TJX Companies Inc

About childhood cancers and Cancer Research UK

  • Every year in the UK around 1,500 new cases of childhood cancer are diagnosed.
  • Today, 75 per cent of children survive for at least five years after diagnosis of cancer, compared with less than 30 per cent in the 1960s.
  • But there is still much to do to improve outcomes for the other 25 per cent of children and to reduce the side effects of treatments for all children.