Ten-year-old Lily Walkingshaw has organised the whole of Henry Bloom Noble primary school to run a ‘race for life’ to raise money for cancer research, in memory of her aunt.
Lily will be speaking in the school’s assembly on the day of the event on Friday (May 27), where she will talk about her aunt, former mayor of Douglas Debbie Pitts, who died of lung cancer in 2020 aged 47.
Her grandmother, Dot, who was also a mayor of Douglas, died of cancer in 2010.
Lily will talk about how ‘cancer has affected me a lot in the past’, with her mother Nicola having had it twice, and her great aunt having also suffered from it recently too.
Nicola, an ambassador for Cancer Research UK, told the Manx Independent that Lily had been volunteering for the charity all her life, having done her first sponsored relay race when she was pushed around in a pram at three weeks old. On Friday the run will be about 24 minutes.
Nicola said that Lily was very close to Debbie – who worked for Rebecca House and was a nursery nurse – having looked after her when she was young.
Among Lily’s favourite memories of her include ‘when we went to Liverpool together, and I how I used to love driving in her car with the roof down’.
Lily described Cancer Research UK as ‘a great charity because they send money to scientists in labs to try to get medicine for people with cancer.
‘It might not cure it, but it helps to find ways to help people with cancer’.
She adds that cancer ‘still makes me worry lots in case someone else gets it in my family’.
People can donate to Lily’s fundraiser by searching for ‘Cancer Research Relay for life Isle of Man’, clicking ‘donate to a relay’ and then searching for ‘Lily Walkingshaw’.