SHE beat cancer, was given a new heart and overcame blood poisoning - now Ehryn Andrews is rallying people across Scotland to Give Up Clothes for Good to help save lives like hers.
It is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the Elgin schoolgirl is urging people to clear out their wardrobes and drawers to raise much-needed cash.
Ehryn, who has been treated successfully for bone cancer, is supporting Give Up Clothes for Good, a partnership between TK Maxx and Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens.
Remarkable Ehryn is rallying people across Scotland to help beat children’s cancers sooner by dropping off any clothing, accessories and quality homeware they no longer need at their nearest TK Maxx store.
The seven-year-old posed with a megaphone to help highlight the message loud and clear – unwanted clothes really could save lives.
Each bag of donated items will be transformed into vital funds for research into cures and kinder treatments for cancers affecting children, teens and young adults, when they are sold in Cancer Research UK shops.
Ehryn is one of around 110 children in Scotland who are diagnosed with the disease every year*, so the Andrews family know first-hand just how important new breakthroughs and discoveries are to help more young people survive.
Ehryn was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in October 2014 and doctors said it was unlikely she would walk again after surgery to cut out the tumour.
Sepsis and the side effects of chemotherapy irreparably damaged her heart and last summer Ehryn had a heart transplant at Freeman Hospital in Newcastle.
Now Ehryn, who has recently gone back to school, has learnt to walk again against all the odds. She loves art, swimming, drama and Brownies, as well as playing with big brother Ryan, aged 10.
Mum Lyanne, aged 36, a staff nurse at Dr Gray’s Hospital in Elgin, said: “When we were told Ehryn had bone cancer, we were terrified that we were going to lose her. But she is such a little fighter. Se coped with months of treatment with unbelievable bravery, strength and resilience – despite all the things she was missing out on while she was ill.
“My husband Ross and I are amazed by Ehryn every single day. Our little girl was told she would never walk again but here she is running around. She has so much energy.
“We’re so grateful for the treatment that saved Ehryn’s life. Success stories like ours would not be possible without Cancer Research UK’s life-saving work, which in turn relies on everyone who raises crucial funds.”
Since its launch in 2004, everyone who has detoxed their cupboards or donated money in support of Give Up Clothes for Good has helped TK Maxx raise a staggering £25.5 million for Cancer Research UK.
Over £21 million of this total directly funds work to help find better and kinder treatments for youngsters like Ehryn.
Lyanne added: “We are urging people across Scotland to support Give Up Clothes for Good by whittling down their wardrobes, clearing out their cupboards and dropping off as many unwanted items as they can at TK Maxx stores.
“We have already had a good de-clutter and hope others will be inspired to do the same. In doing so, we can all help Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens ensure that more children, like Ehryn, survive cancer in the future.”
TK Maxx is the biggest corporate supporter of research into children’s cancers in the UK, where around three quarters of children now survive their disease beyond ten years, compared to more than a third in the 1970s**.
Linda Summerhayes, Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens spokesperson in Scotland, said: “Thanks to research, more youngsters are surviving cancer than ever before. But there’s still so much more to do.
“The disease 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.
“So we hope people across Scotland will support our mission to find cures and kinder treatments for children’s cancers. Each item of clothing donated at TK Maxx will bring us one step closer to beating the disease.”
Tony Slipman, Retail director for TK Maxx, said: “The Give Up Clothes for Good Campaign has been running for over 12 years now and thanks to the generosity of the British public, we have been able to raise over £25.5 million for Cancer Research UK.
“We are very proud of the contribution that we can make that will help Cancer Research UK do the vital work to beat children’s cancers and support improvement in treatments and cures for children affected by cancer.”
For more information on how to support Give Up Clothes for Good and Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens, please visit cruk.org/kidsandteens.