A Fylde schoolgirl who successfully battled cancer has been chosen as the face of a new fundraising campaign.
Ten-year-old Alyssa Davies is fronting TK Maxx’s Give Up Clothes for Good campaign in support of Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens. The campaign urges people across the Fylde coast to clear out their wardrobes and raise money to help fund research into children’s cancers.
Alyssa, of Wrea Green, appears on posters, being displayed in TK Maxx stores and Cancer Research UK across the UK, which show her posing inside a wardrobe – to encourage people to donate good quality clothing, accessories and homeware they no longer need to their nearest TK Maxx store. She also features in a video with singer and Give Up Clothes for Good ambassador, Kimberley Walsh, raiding her wardrobe and helping to choose clothes to donate.
Alyssa’s family know first-hand how important research is in helping more children and young people survive cancer.
She was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in 2014. She had been unwell, including extreme fatigue, swollen eyelids and backache.
Doctors initially suggested she may have tonsillitis or mumps, but when her symptoms continued, mum Angela Davies took her back to the GP as she feared it could be more serious.
Alyssa was eventually referred to Preston Royal Hospital where doctors immediately suspected leukaemia.
She needed a platelet transfusion before being transferred to the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital where the leukaemia diagnosis was confirmed. She spent the next four weeks receiving intense chemotherapy treatment.
Mum Angela had to stop work as an accounts clerk to be with Alyssa full-time at hospital, while husband Michael also took time off work initially. He continued to work with both sets of grandparents, pitching in to look after Alyssa’s younger sister Lauren.
Alyssa, who lost her beautiful long hair due to the chemotherapy, amazed everyone with her “get on with it” attitude and made her parents incredibly proud. Even in the darkest of days, she continued to attend school as often as possible.
Following the intense bout of chemotherapy, Alyssa continued to receive ‘maintenance’ treatment for 18 months. She celebrated one year clear of cancer treatment in June, when she was special guest at Race for Life in Preston. The day was poignant for the family as it was Father’s Day and Alyssa lost her grandfather to cancer earlier this year.
Mum Angela Davies said: “After everything Alyssa has been through, raising funds for Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens is so important.
“The whole family will be having a good clear out at home and finding clothes and items to donate to our local TK Maxx store. I hope everyone in Lancashire will get behind this campaign too and turn something unwanted into funds for such a fantastic cause.”
Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens spokesperson for the North West, said: “It’s fantastic to see Alyssa as the face of Give Up Clothes for Good – she has been through so much at such a young age.
“Thanks to research, more children and young people are surviving cancer than ever before. But there’s still so much more to do.
“While we’ve made huge progress, we still need to do more.
“Our mission is ensure no child diagnosed with cancer in the North West and across the UK dies of the disease. And that those who survive do so with a good quality of life.
“Thanks to campaigns like Give Up Clothes for Good, we’re able to carry out more research to help find new, better and kinder treatments for children and young people with cancer.”
Each bag donated could raise up to £30 when sold in Cancer Research UK stores.
Alyssa is one of around 450 young people in the North West who are diagnosed with cancer every year.
Items can be donated in Blackpool, at TK Maxx’s Bank Hey Street and Blackpool Retail Park.
• Visit cruk.org/kidsandteens