A Wrea Green schoolgirl who has survived cancer is calling on youngsters to get muddy for Cancer Research UK.
Alyssa Davies, 12, is encouraging children to join a Race for Life Pretty Muddy Kids event, which is returning to Moor Park in Preston on Saturday, June 15, as well as Lawson’s Showground in Blackpool on Saturday, September 14. A Pretty Muddy event for adults will take place on the same day following the kids event.
This year, for the first time, all events are open to male as well as female participants.
Pretty Muddy Kids is an exciting obstacle course, where boys and girls wriggle through scramble nets, bounce on space hoppers and crawl through a mud pit - to help raise money for life-saving research.
Alyssa was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia (ALL) in 2014. She had been poorly, 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 something 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 her work as an accounts clerk to be with Alyssa full time at hospital while husband Michael also took off time off work initially. He then continued to work with both sets of grandparents pitching in to look after Alyssa’s younger sister Lauren.
Alyssa, who lost her 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.
Although she still has regular check-ups, Alyssa is fit and well and enjoying life at Kirkham Grammar School. She and sister Lauren, aged 10, will both be taking part in Pretty Muddy Kids at Preston.
Mum Angela, 47, said: “Alyssa and Lauren are so excited about taking part in the Pretty Muddy Kids event and having an excuse to get covered in mud from head to toe.
“After everything Alyssa went through when she was poorly, it remains incredibly important to us to support Cancer Research UK’s work. Without research, Alyssa’s outcome might have been very different.”
Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events.
Read more: Preston sisters doing Pretty Muddy for Cancer Research in honour of their dad are encouraging others to help fight cancer and Cancer Research UK's Pretty Muddy events in Blackpool postponed
Pretty Muddy Kids is open to boys and girls aged five to 12. The entry fee for is £10. All children must be accompanied by a supervising adult. Adult entry is £19.99.
Meanwhile, Race for Life 5k and 10k takes place at Moor Park, Preston, on Sunday June 16 and at Blackpool Promenade on Wednesday, July 10.
Visit www.raceforlife.org or call 0300 123 0770.