2:50pm Wednesday 28th August 2013
BRAVE Emilie Dean will be the guest of honour at this weekend's Race for Life at Tatton Park after being diagnosed with a brain tumour less than a year ago.
Eight-year-old Emilie, from Lostock Green, will sound the air horn to start the annual event on Sunday morning as 1,800 women set off to complete 10km for Cancer Research UK.
Emilie was diagnosed with medulloblastoma in October last year and while she is still receiving chemotherapy treatment the youngster, who is a pupil at Lower Peover School, can’t wait to step up onto the podium to start the racers, which will include Emilie’s mum Vicki.
Vicki, who is married to Phil and also has a two-year-old son, James, said: “Emilie is really excited about starting the event. She understands how important it is and why everyone is running to help people like her.”
Emilie began suffering from severe headaches and would come in from school and lie on the sofa not wanting to do anything.
She also became short tempered, which was out of character, and her parents took her to see several doctors before CT and MRI scans confirmed that there was a two-inch tumour attached to Emilie’s brain stem.
Vicki said: “I had a gut feeling that it was something serious but my mind would not let me go to the idea that Emilie might have cancer.
“I lost my dad David to non-hodgkin’s lymphoma three years earlier and at one point Phil asked me if I thought Emilie might have the same thing.
“I hit the roof. I just couldn’t bear to think that was the case.”
Emilie had immediate surgery to remove fluid which had built up around the brain as a result of the tumour and a biopsy revealed that the tumour was malignant.
Vicki said: “That was the moment our world caved in.
“She had been so well and full of life after the operation that I just assumed the worst was over. I felt sick with shock at the latest news.”
Emilie has had 30 doses of radiotherapy at Clatterbridge Hospital and six weeks of chemotherapy at Alder Hey Hospital but she is now having a six-week break from the intensive treatment.
Vicki will be running the Race for Life with 10 close friends and family after running in the event three years ago in memory of her father.
Vicki said: “When my father died I ran the Tatton Park event in his memory, so when Emilie got her diagnosis she asked me if I would run the race for her, which was lovely.
“The fact that she will actually be starting it is such a huge boost for her and we’re really looking forward to it.
“There’s always such a brilliant atmosphere but this year is going to be a very, very special day.”
Entries for the event, which will raise £100,000 for Cancer Research UK, will close late tomorrow, Thursday. Visit raceforlife.org or call 0845 600 6050.
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