Life looks good for William
WILLIAM Allen is celebrating a new lease of life ten years after being cured of cancer.The 22-year-old former Suffolk schoolboy has managed to lead a full life, obtain a first class honours degree in economics and statistics from University College London and take up a job as an insurance analyst in London.
WILLIAM Allen is celebrating a new lease of life ten years after being cured of cancer.
The 22-year-old former Suffolk schoolboy has managed to lead a full life, obtain a first class honours degree in economics and statistics from University College London and take up a job as an insurance analyst in London.
His proud mother, Mary, says his successes should be an inspiration to all young cancer sufferers and their families who are coming to terms with the illness.
Now she is marking the anniversary with a Celebration Trek to raise money for the Sargent Cancer Care for Children charity. William raised nearly £1,800 for the charity when he organised a jazz concert at Haughley Park four years ago.
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Mrs Allen has already raised £4,000 towards a £6,000 target by completing a Great Wall of China Trek this year. The distance to be undertaken is not far but the constant climbing up and down thousands of steps is a challenge for Mrs Allen, a Macmillan nurse based in Woodbridge.
Mrs Allen, of Marlesford, said that all money raised will go to the charity. She is paying half of the £1,300 costs of the trek and the remainder has been paid by a London company.
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William was a pupil at Orwell Park School, Nacton, when in 1992 he had a tennis ball sized tumour in his lower chest. Aged 12, he had six months of treatment, six chemotherapy courses and one extensive operation to cure it.
His family acknowledge that it was only thanks to the help of the charity that they could handle the emotional and financial pressure.
Mrs Allen said: ''William's achievements are encouragement indeed for any family just starting on a cancer journey with their child. When Will was ill there was minimal support. Now Sargent Cancer Care for Children aims to reach out to all children and youngsters under 21 and their families.
''The cure rate for childhood cancer is improving all the time but, as the treatments become more complex, so do the needs for support for a greater length of time.
''The biggest aim for those children is to enable to them to live as normal a life as possible and going to school is really important. The social worker does a lot of work with schools to help the children.''
In East Suffolk 15 children under 21 are diagnosed annually with cancer and at any one time there are 30 families receiving help. It can cost up to £600 in petrol for daily trips to Addenbrooke's Hospital, Cambridge, when a child is receiving radiotherapy and Sargent and other sources can assist with the costs. Families from the area can make use of Sargent's holiday home in Scotland.
Mrs Allen is chairman of the charity's Ipswich and East Suffolk branch and she is arranging a Bridge Drive at Bredfield Village Hall on October 26 to raise money. Donations for the trek can be sent to The Hedges, Marlesford, near Woodbridge. IP13 OAE. She can be contacted on 01728 748165.