A BRAVE Scottish schoolboy who lost a kidney to cancer has been chosen as the face of the UK’s biggest and longest running charity clothes collection – Give Up Clothes for Good.
Milo Carter, of Auchtertool in Fife, is the poster boy for the initiative – a partnership between TK Maxx and Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens – which raises money for research to beat children’s cancers sooner.
All September – childhood cancer awareness month – primary two pupil Milo, 6, features in shop windows in all 269 TK Maxx stores across the UK as well as more than 500 Cancer Research UK shops.
Milo is one of around 300 children in Scotland who are diagnosed with cancer every year and proof of just how crucial new discoveries and breakthroughs are to help more children survive.
Milo had surgery at 72 hours old to mend a hole in his heart but was diagnosed with tumours in both kidneys, his lungs and liver in April 2013.
A surgeon at Great Ormond Street hospital in London succeeded in saving 90 per cent of his right kidney, then chemotherapy and radiotherapy at Edinburgh Sick Children’s hospital helped make Milo clear of cancer.
It’s thanks to research into children’s cancers and an amazing medical team that Milo is here today.Milo’s mum, Sarah
Milo’s mum, Sarah,37, said: “It’s thanks to research into children’s cancers and an amazing medical team that Milo is here today.
“Nothing knocks Milo. After coping with all the treatment with remarkable bravery, strength and resilience, I’m so proud he is the face of Give Up Clothes for Good. Milo had a wonderful time at the photo shoot and it felt brilliant to walk in to a TK Maxx store now and see a giant poster of Milo. Milo loved seeing it.
“He even wrote about it at school and told his teacher he is famous.
“I’d urge people to go through their wardrobes, cupboards and drawers, and drop off as many unwanted items as they can at TK Maxx stores. It’s a great way to support Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens and help ensure that more children, like Milo, survive cancer in the future.”
Now Milo and his family are calling on Scots to support Give Up Clothes for Good and help save the lives of more youngsters by dropping off any unwanted clothing, accessories and quality homeware in the permanent bins provided in TK Maxx stores.
When resold in Cancer Research UK shops, each bag could be worth around £30 to the charity and help fund vital research in to cures and kinder treatments for cancers affecting children, teens and young adults.
TK Maxx launched Give Up Clothes for Good in 2004 and since then has raised around £19.7 million for Cancer Research UK. More than £15m of this has specifically supported research into children’s cancers, making the brands-for-less retailer the UK’s biggest corporate supporter of research into cancers affecting children and young people.
The disease is the leading cause of death in under 25s in the UK, taking the lives of around 550 young people each year.
Lisa Adams, Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens spokeswoman for Scotland, said: “Cancer has a devastating impact on children, forcing them to show bravery beyond their years.
“Treatment can last for months, or even years, meaning long stays in hospital away from siblings and friends. Unfortunately, some children also have to face living with side-effects from their treatment which can last long into adult life.We are very grateful to Milo and her parents for helping to show the difference research can make. Today three quarters of under-15s with the disease are cured compared with a quarter in the late 1960s.***
“We hope people across Scotland will support our mission to find cures and kinder treatments for children’s cancers. Dropping off any unwanted clothing and homeware at TK Maxx will help fund research which really could save lives.”
Supporters can also help raise vital funds by buying a gold ribbon pin badge – the awareness symbol for children’s cancers.
These are available at most Cancer Research UK and TK Maxx stores. Cancer Research UK’s children’s cancer trials team co-ordinate groundbreaking trials in 21 centres across the UK and Ireland, including The Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh and the new Royal Hospital for Children in Glasgow. These trials make innovative new treatments available to children with cancer in Scotland and across the UK. Supporters can follow Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens on Twitter @CRUK_Kids and join the conversation using the hashtag #KidsandTeens.