Swanley leukaemia teen takes on charity event to help others.
PUBLISHED: 14:55 01 June 2011
»With two months of chemotherapy treatment remaining, a teenage leukaemia patient is planning a double charity event to help other families affected by cancer.
Lauren Howard, 17, of Apple Orchard, Swanley, was diagnosed with the disease two years ago, and despite some dark moments – spending 10 days over Christmas on life support – is now well on the road to recovery.
Supported by mum Nadine Orpwood, 36, friends and family, Lauren is planing to enter the 5km event Race for Life on July 3, followed by a Race for Home on the same day, from Blackheath to Dartford, all in aid of a charity inspired by her illness, Lollypops Fund.
Lauren, who has four younger brothers, said “One of the worst parts of the cancer was the affect on my brothers and the family. It as such a strain for them. We had such support but many don’t.”
A year after the former Hextable School pupil was diagnosed her mother and a couple of friends set up Lollypops Fund to provided assistance to local families dealing with a child with cancer.
Mrs Orpwood explained the community came together to redecorate Lauren’s room, buy a lap top and provide assistance to the family when she was first diagnosed and this response inspired the charity.
“We felt so blessed and we had to give something back,” she said.
The charity has already helped one Dartford family and donated a TV and DVD player to Princess Royal Hospital Farnborough, and by raising money on July 3 hopes to continue its work.
Two teams of eight, led by Lauren and her mum, after completing the Race for Life, will race against each other from Blackheath to Princes Park, Dartford, where a free funday will be held from 1pm.
“We can get there by any means, but we have to fill our collection buckets. I’ve got a few tricks up my sleeve and I’m sure Lolly does too,” said Mrs Orpwood.