Fundraisers who set up an appeal to raise £250,000  to pay for pioneering treatment in America for a  two-year-old cancer sufferer have been nominated for  a Your Champions award.

Anya Bentham, of Waverton, Chester is still being treated at Alder Hey Children’s Hospital in Liverpool for an advanced form  of an aggressive cancer  called neuroblastoma.

The Anya Bentham Appeal, which aims to raise the cash needed to pay for  treatment in America,  treatment which is not  available on the NHS, was  set up in December last  year and has already  raised a staggering amount  with cash still pouring in on a daily basis.

Fundraisers, including  many from Deeside, have  tackled a whole range of  challenges from boxing  nights to sponsored walks  and supermarket bag  packs to shark dives at the  Blue Planet Aquarium to  help keep the cash steadily  rolling in – but still need  £40,000.

Anya, mum and dad, Naomi Stanley, originally  from Connah’s Quay, and  Graham Bentham, recently  had the news they’d hoped  for that Anya’s treatment  at Alder Hey Children’s  Hospital had been successful and their precious  daughter was now cancer  free. 

But the chances of a relapse in children who suffer  neuroblastoma are exceptionally high and with patients only offered limited treatment in the UK - which isn’t the case in America. And despite  the all-clear Anya remains  gravely ill following numerous rounds of crippling chemotherapy with her immune  system particularly low.

Speaking in December last year, at the time the Anya Bentham Appeal was set up, Naomi Stanley, 28, said: “It’s all to do with the Immuno Therapy Anya now needs.

“Here in the UK the NHS allows one, or in some rare cases two drugs, to be given while in America they use three and they are having a much higher success rate.

“It’s our worst nightmare, how terrible that our own country couldn’t save our daughter if the worst comes to the worst but America could.

“The support we have received from people who have taken on fundraising to help Anya has been simply amazing. So many of my old school friends from Connah’s Quay High School have been in touch and helped by raising so much money. We can’t thank them enough.”

The fundraising team are now looking to raise the final £40,000 they need to reach their £250,000 goal so Anya can go stateside and hopefully get the life-saving treatment she needs. 

You can support Anya’s appeal by going to www.facebook.com/AnyaBenthamAppeal and donations can be made at http://www.justgiving.com/appeal4anya.

The awards

Trinity Mirror Cheshire has once again joined forces with ScottishPower Foundation to host Your Champions 2013 and  pay tribute to those who are making a real difference in our  area.

The Your Champions awards  scheme is this year celebrating  its 26th search for those unsung  heroes in our community.

A glittering gala, red carpet  event will be held at the Crowne  Plaza Hotel in Chester on Friday,  November 15 with UK leading  tenor, TV and radio presenter  Wynne Evans on hand to present  awards to this year’s successful  champions.

The 2012 Champion of Champions was the London Olympic  bronze medal winner Beth Tweddle MBE, who comes from  Bunbury and is the UK’s most  decorated gymnast

Ann Loughrey, head CSR, ScottishPower, said: “The Your  Champions awards provide a  fantastic opportunity to celebrate the often unrecognised  work of heroes in our communities.

“We welcome nominations for  individuals and groups who  have gone above and beyond the  call of duty and are really making a difference.

“This could be helping out a  neighbour, improving the environment or even an act of  bravery.

“ScottishPower Foundation is  committed to helping the communities in which we serve and  look forward to recognising local  people and groups who have  made a difference in their community at the awards ceremony  in November.”

Michael Green, executive editor Cheshire Weeklies at Trinity Mirror, said: “Your Champions is a special event every  year and we have been proud to  play our part in highlighting  some wonderful stories about  the incredible work that goes  behind the scenes of our communities.

“We hope that 2013 will be even  more memorable and I would  urge everyone out there who  knows of an individual or group  that is deserving recognition to  let us know about them.”

Categories

Champion of the Year - Man or woman who is making the most significant contribution to their community

Champion Volunteer of the Year - An individual who has tirelessly supported a local charity or voluntary organisation over the years.

Champion Team of the Year - Group of people which is making a contribution to their community, from those who improve the environment, to sporting and charitable organisations.

Sporting Champion of the Year - An individual or team that has excelled in their sport and is an example to others

Young Champion of the Year - A special young person, under the age of 19, who has succeeded - often against the odds, to tirelessly fundraise or help others

How to nominate your community hero

If you would like to nominate someone for a category, fill in the jot form below.  You will be asked to tell us who you are nominating and why in about 250 words and to provide a photograph of the nominee. The closing date for nominations is October 11.