The dad of a brave little girl who courageously battled a rare childhood cancer will join a team of Cycling Santas this weekend as he looks to raise £1,000 for the charity that helped to save his daughter’s life.
Graeme Bentham, who works in Connah’s Quay, will take on the 40-mile ride from Chester to Manchester on Saturday, December 6, in aid of Neuroblastoma Children’s Cancer Alliance (NCCA).
His daughter Anya was diagnosed with neuroblastoma in October 2012 and underwent 18 months of therapy, lengthy hospital stays and tests before finally being given the all-clear from doctors in May this year.
However, neuroblastoma has a frighteningly high return rate and earlier this summer parents Graeme and Naomi made the agonising decision to take their daughter to America to take part in a pioneering clinical trial in a bid to stop the disease from returning.
The family, who now live in Waverton, near Chester, return to Michigan every three months so Anya can be assessed.
Graeme said: “Two years ago our world was almost destroyed by a vile childhood cancer called neuroblastoma.
“The image you see of me with Anya captures the pure love and pride I have for her as she continues to fight her way back from a disease and treatments that have taken too many innocent young lives.
“Please help me and others to raise desperately needed funds and awareness so that the world can offer less harsh and more effective treatments.
“Children like Anya and their families deserve so much more than the harrowing life that is currently experienced in the shadow of Neuroblastoma.”
He added: “I’m incredibly proud of what Anya and some of the other children we have met in this life of childhood cancer over the last two years have achieved.
“I wish with all my heart that we had made it through to the finish line now and could break free of the fear of relapse but sadly this is not the case and Naomi and I live each day in tortured fear of it returning.
“We will keep pushing forward though and try to give Anya every happiness we possibly can – each week that goes by feels one more towards ‘normality’ and a hope that a wonder treatment will be found for all families affected by neuroblastoma.
“Time is not something that is on our side though for many of the children affected by the disease.”
To support Graeme visit www.justgiving.com/Graeme-Bentham or donate via text by texting NCCA55 and £3 to 70070.
The NCCA supports families affected by neuroblastoma and help to raise money and awareness of the disease. For more information visit www.ncca-uk.org.