Sonia accepts helping hand for Teenage Cancer Trust

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A MOTHER who has raised thousands of pounds for teenage cancer has been handed a £500 Bury Free Press A Helping Hand grant.

Sonia Mann, whose daughter Alice Bullock died in November 2007 from a rare and incurable cancer aged just 18, has spent the last few years raising money and awareness for teenage cancer.

In September 2009, Sonia, of Field Close, Beyton, raised more than £10,000 completing the gruelling 20-mile Lares Trek in Peru.

In September last year, Sonia, with sons George and Harry Bullock, took part in a sponsored skydive on what would have been Alice’s 21st birthday.

They raised more than £4,000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust which was used towards funding a Teenage Cancer Unit at Addenbrooke’s Hospital, in Cambridge.

The unit, which was completed in August last year, provides 11 beds for cancer patients aged 13 to 24.

It has been equipped with full broadband connectivity, entertainment and music equipment and includes social and recreation areas for the young patients to relax.

Sonia was presented with £500 towards the Teenage Cancer Trust by Graham Turner, from the Bury Free Press, and Steve Laycock, from St Edmund’s Wheel, which supports the A Helping Hand fund.

Sonia said the money was vital in helping teenagers cope with the terrible disease.

“When Alice was diagnosed she was just 15 and she had to be treated on the children’s ward.

“When she reached 16 she officially became an adult and had to mix with with adult cancer patients.

“It is about teenagers being able to share their experiences with people their own age on their own unit.

“Alice used to say to me, ‘Just because I have got cancer does not mean I am not a teenager anymore’.”

With the support of the St Edmund’s Wheel fund-raising team, a wide variety of local charities and organisations have received £500 cheques.

If you would like to nominate a good cause to receive A Helping Hand grant, just fill in the coupon, right, and, on a separate sheet of paper explain why your cause should get the money. The nominations can be charities, community projects or even individuals.