Brave Alyssa Davies was a guest of honour at the Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Star Awards party, held in partnership with TK Maxx at a special venue in central London.
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The 11-year-old from Wrea Green, joined twenty children and young people from across the UK who were given VIP treatment during the action-packed day to celebrate their strength and courage and how far they have come since their diagnoses.
They took to a personalised ‘Walk of Fame’ with their names in stars and enjoyed activities including a magician’s workshop and acrobatic skills training, as well as practicing their dance moves.
The afternoon also saw a special performance by CBeebies presenter Cat Sandion, before Alyssa and the children showcased some of their own talents in front of friends and family.
Alyssa was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in March 2014. She 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.
As part of her treatment Alyssa joined the UKALL 2011 clinical trial which is being carried out at different hospitals across the UK.
Alyssa celebrated one year clear of being treated for cancer in 2017 by being special guest at Race for Life Preston. And today she is doing well. She’s back at school, having fun with her friends and is thinking about the future.
Mum Angela said: “It was such a shock. Alyssa had been feeling unwell and tired for a while, but we didn’t think it was anything serious. When I heard the news, I remember thinking ‘we’re going to lose her. But she proved to be a fighter and made everyone in the family very proud.
“The party was a wonderful chance to get together with other families who have faced the same ordeal and celebrate all the children’s courage.”
Alyssa added: “When I grow up I want to be a nurse so that I can help other children. I hope that by then, things will be different for children with cancer. And that they won’t have treatment that tastes so yucky.”
The Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Star Awards are part of the wider Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens campaign, which raises vital funds for research across the UK to find new, better and kinder treatments for children and young people with cancer.
Jane Bullock, Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens spokesman for the North West, said: “It is an absolute privilege to be able to recognise the strength of youngsters like Alyssa who have been through so much at such a young age. She is a true ‘star’.
“Cancer can have a major impact on children and young people, so it was fantastic to see Alyssa’s smile light up as she took part in our talent show-themed party.
“Our mission is to save the lives of more children and young people diagnosed with cancer in the North West and across the UK, and to reduce side effects caused by treatment, by finding new, better and kinder treatments.”
In the UK, around 4,500 children and young people are diagnosed with cancer every year.
TK Maxx’s support of the Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens Star Awards is part of a year-round fundraising partnership including its clothing collection campaign, Give Up Clothes for Good, which helps to raise vital funds to beat children’s cancers.