Just a lovely story...
Every school morning, Josephine Drew, 12, walks along the Thames to catch the bus. ‘In the winter, we watch the sun rise over the water – it’s magical,’ says her mother Carmel Allen. For everyone who knows Carmel and Josephine (pictured right), that story is magic – because in 2002, aged nine months, ‘Jojo’ was diagnosed with a stage 3 neuroblastoma, a rare cancer caused by problems in nerve cell development. During Jojo’s treatment (she is now fit and healthy), Carmel practically lived at London’s Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital (GOSH) for six months. ‘I looked in the chapel bereavement book and found it heartening to see that fewer children die nowadays than in the 1940s. GOSH truly is an international centre, steering research into childhood cancer.’ Carmel, then a journalist, became interested in how paediatric cancer research was funded: ‘I was shocked to find that of the millions raised in the UK, a pitiful amount goes to childhood cancer. Although cancer is the leading cause of death from disease for under-15s, the numbers are still relatively small, so pharmaceutical companies won’t reap enormous benefits from developing new drugs.’
Her frustration led Carmel to launch the Kiss It Better appeal ten years ago (www.gosh.org/kissitbetter) to fund research into childhood cancer. Since then survival rates for childhood leukaemia have improved enormously at 60 to 90 per cent. For neuroblastoma, it’s 40 to 60 per cent, but for high-grade glioma (a type of brain tumour) the prognosis is less good at ten to 40 per cent. GOSH is now raising funds for two ground-breaking gene therapy trials. The one for neuroblastoma involves engineering the patient’s killer ‘T’ cells to recognise and eliminate the cancer. The second, for glioma, is a new immunotherapy using a treatment created from the patient’s own blood and tumour cells.
• For this tenth anniversary year, Carmel’s target for Kiss It Better is £100,000 – ‘or more!’ Beauty company Clinique, supported by House of Fraser, is partnering the appeal for February – and we can all play a part. Buy Clinique’s limited-edition hot pink Kiss It Better high gloss nail enamel and half the £12 purchase price goes to the appeal. And £2 from every Clinique lip product sold in House of Fraser stores will be donated. Plus, Lulu Guinness is offering a limited-edition Coin Purse, with a Clinique Chubby Stick Moisturizing Lip Colour Balm in Super Strawberry – and the full £55 purchase price goes to Kiss It Better. Exclusively online at www.clinique.co.uk.
WIN A SIGNED COPY OF YOGA: THE PATH TO HOLISTIC HEALTH by B K S Iyengar, DK, £25*
have good reason to be grateful to Iyengar yoga. My left arm was seriously damaged in an accident. While surgery saved the arm, rehab was slow until an Iyengar yoga teacher (www.hannahlovegrove.com) devised progressive therapy to speed recovery. To my surgeon’s amazement, within three months I couldstraighten and bend my arm. At six months, I could do the downward dog pose, putting my weight on it. A new edition of Iyengar’s classic book gives you step-by-step photographs of the poses. It is not, of course, just a physical therapy: ‘The aim of yoga is for body and mind to become one cohesive whole,’ says B K S Iyengar, which is what makes it so powerful in our frenetic world. DK is offering five readers a rare chance towin a copy signed by B K S Iyengar.
To enter, phone 0901 154 4316 leaving your details (calls cost 51p, plus any network extras); text IYENGAR followed by your name to 65700 (texts cost 50p plus standard network charge), or post your entry to YOU Competition, PO Box 5002, Dept YBC, Alton, Hants GU34 9DA. Entries must be received by 11.59pm on 1 February. Subject to availability.