Hexham Cancer Survivor Invited To Downing Street

20 January 2015, 05:48 | Updated: 30 March 2016, 13:50

14 year old Simone Youngman from Hexham's been invited to Downing Street to launch Cancer Research UK's new 'Kids & Teens' campaign.

The teenager, from Humshaugh, who survived cancer will be guest of honour at a special reception hosted by Samantha Cameron.

Every year, around 1,600 children aged 14 and under are diagnosed with cancer in the UK; around 65 of them in the North East.

A further 2,200 15-24 year olds are also diagnosed with cancer in the UK annually.

And with the disease remaining the biggest killer of youngsters in the UK, the charity has launched the new fundraising drive with an ongoing mission to accelerate its groundbreaking work into all forms of cancer affecting children, teens and young adults.

Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens will call on people in England and across the UK to donate to help beat children's cancers sooner and save more lives like Simone's.

It's an appeal her family wholeheartedly support. After Simone was diagnosed with undifferentiated soft tissue sarcoma in June 2012, they know firsthand just how crucial new discoveries and breakthroughs are to help more young people survive.

Soft tissue sarcomas are cancers that develop from soft tissue in the body. Soft tissue is a term used to describe all the supporting tissues in the body, apart from the bones, and include muscle, skin and nerves. Soft tissue is in all parts of the body so sarcomas can grow almost anywhere and unless treated can spread to other areas of the body.

Simone's cancer was first revealed after she noticed a squishy lump on her side (flank) while putting on her swimming costume to play out in the paddling pool.

Her mum Annette Barnes, took her to the GP that week and she was referred for an ultra sound for what was first thought to be a lipoma, a soft fatty, non cancerous lump that grows under the skin.

However, 4 weeks later after the ultrasound the doctor was uncertain of the results and Simone was referred to the Great North Children's Hospital where she had an MRI scan and a biopsy.

Sadly the results came back showing Simone, who was just 12 at the time, had cancer and would need urgent treatment.

She began an aggressive course of chemotherapy which caused all her hair to fall out, followed by an operation to remove the tumour.

The operation was followed by more chemotherapy as well as radiotherapy for a month.

Simone, who is a pupil at St Thomas More School in Blaydon, finally completed her treatment on 26 February 2013.

Now nearly two years on she is one of 21 youngsters from across the UK, all affected by cancer, who are travelling to 10 Downing Street to have their bravery recognised and help raise awareness of the urgent need to boost funds for research.

To support Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens text KIDS3 to 70200 to donate £5 or for more information about the campaign visit cruk.org/kidsandteens