Grieving mum demands more funding for research into childhood cancers after daughter dies
A GRIEVING mum has demanded more cash gets pumped into researching children’s cancer following the death of her daughter.
Charlotte Fairall issued the plea after her 10-year-old little girl, Sophie, died on Saturday following a one-year battle against a rare form of cancer.
The mum-of-three from Stubbington said not enough was being done to fund life-saving research into children’s cancer and insisted youngsters with tumours were facing ‘late diagnoses’ due to a lack of early recognition by frontline health workers.
Holding back tears, Mrs Fairall told The News the death of her daughter had rocked the family.
‘The impact on our immediate family has been devastating and catastrophic,’ she said. ‘My youngest daughter Amelia, who is nine, now wants to go to heaven because she misses her sister.
‘My eldest, Lucy, has had her hair falling out – she has bald patches. She is so stressed and has hardly spoken. It’s her birthday on Tuesday and she is heartbroken. My husband, Gareth and I are completely lost. The devastation this causes cannot keep happening time and time again.’
Mrs Fairall has called on people to lobby their MPs and ‘pile pressure on people at the very top’ in a bid to bring about change.
She also criticised the level of investment by some of the world’s largest cancer charities into the research carried out into specific conditions affecting youngsters.
In 2020/21 Cancer Research UK spent £423m on researching various forms of cancer.
Of that, just £13m was spent on ‘basic research, infrastructure and research projects that focused on cancers that affect 0-24-year olds,’ the charity said in its latest financial statement, making it ‘one of the biggest funders of research into children’s and young people’s cancers in the UK.’
But Mrs Fairall said this was just a drop in the ocean compared to what she believed was needed.
‘This is unjust and unbelievable. It’s just unbelievable,’ she said. ‘The early diagnosis for children needs to be improved. So many children are diagnosed late - normally stage three and four and obviously the outcome for that isn’t great.
‘The week Sophie was diagnosed in Portsmouth five other children were diagnosed with cancer in Portsmouth.
‘So this isn’t rare. I’m living it. I know lots of people around that are living this. Things desperately need to change. We can’t keep letting families like mine go through nightmares like this.’
A message from the Editor, Mark Waldron
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