A BARNOLDSWICK family who lost their teenage daughter to cancer a year ago have appealed for West Craven residents to help beat the disease by taking part in a walking event.
Brave 16-year-old Chloe Oldfield died at home on February 13th, 2010, after a three-year battle against a rare liver cancer.
Since her death, Chloe’s family and friends, including mum Catherine, dad Philip and brother Henry (15), have helped to raise money for cancer charities as well as Barnoldswick and Earby Bosom Friends and the Local Charity Support Group.
Catherine has taken part in fund-raising events and, on May 1st, will again join Shine Manchester, a half-marathon night-time walk that family and friends completed together in the teenager’s memory last year. She hopes others will also sign up.
Catherine said: “Taking part in Shine was a perfect memorial to Chloe. Friends came from as far afield as Edinburgh to join us on the night and we raised £6,000 for research into children’s cancer.”
“This month it will be a year since we lost Chloe. We all love and miss her dearly, and not a day goes by that we don’t think of her.
“It’s been an up and down year but we feel as though she is driving us on and would be proud of everything we have done.
“Hopefully by taking part in events like Shine and supporting the work of Cancer Research UK we can all do our bit in helping people like Chloe in the future.”
Chloe was diagnosed with hepatocellular carcinoma, an aggressive form of liver cancer in March 2007. She underwent a 12-week course of intensive chemotherapy at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital.
When her liver started to fail towards the end of treatment, Chloe was placed on a waiting list for a transplant at St James’ Hospital, Leeds.
Nine weeks later a suitable liver was found and following the transplant Chloe seemed to improve.
Sadly in July 2008 X-rays showed shadows on her lungs and shortly after she was also diagnosed with a brain tumour, after which a second was found.
Doctors gave Chloe just six months to live but the brave teenager battled on for 18 months.
Despite enduring repeated radiotherapy sessions and a daily cocktail of drugs, Chloe was insistent that each day should be lived to the full.
She continued her studies at Skipton Girls’ High School where she achieved As in RE and ICT GCSEs.
Before Chloe died, school-friends Imogen Gibson and Beka Bradley decided to sign up for Shine Manchester and in April 2010, together with a group of friends and family, they took part in the event in Chloe’s memory.
Catherine said: “Chloe was really touched when Beka and Imogen decided they wanted to take part in Shine Manchester last year.
“It was something Chloe also really wanted to do had she been well enough, but sadly that wasn’t to be.”
A group of Chloe’s female family and friends also completed the Race for Life in Broughton and Catherine plans to take part in the Bupa Great Manchester Run this year.
She is encouraging people from across the region to sign up to Shine Manchester 2011 to support crucial cancer research.
Participants can choose to support one of 12 different areas of scientific research including childhood cancer, bowel and lung cancer, or they can simply give their backing to Cancer Research UK’s overall work.
Every walker taking to the streets will be given a back sign to include messages in memory or in celebration of loved ones.
Event manager Nelson Laurencia said: “We are calling on people from East Lancashire and across the North West to help light up Manchester on the night of May 1st.
“By entering Shine and pledging to raise money for research, they will be helping to bring light to people affected by cancer.
“Whether they choose to do the full or half marathon route, every participant will be part of a fantastic atmosphere created by the thousands of committed supporters.
“We’d be delighted to welcome back participants who made Shine such a spectacular success in Manchester in 2010 and we hope they will be keen to repeat their tremendous fundraising feat.”
Shine is open to all men and women aged over 13. To enter now or for more information visit www.cancerresearchuk.org/shine