Two former Forton primary school pupils have organised a fun run this Saturday (April 26) for a very special friend suffering from cancer.
Now they are asking as many people as possible to join the Run Leg for Gabriella! event which starts at 12.30pm from Forton Village Hall.
Katie Oliver and Ella Bookless, want to raise money for former Forton pupil and cancer sufferer Gabriella Benn.
Gabriella and her family were well known locally. Her dad was the policeman at Cockerham and mum Sandie an intensive care nurse at Lancaster Royal Infirmary.
The family emigrated to New Zealand some two years ago, but the youngster was diagnosed with bone cancer last November, just before her 10th birthday.
She has since undergone intensive chemotherapy and had a leg amputated just above the knee.
The run will raise money to help buy a special £2,500 prosthetic limb to enable her to walk on the beach again.
Ella’s mother, Garstang vet Andrea Bookless, said: ”In order for Gabriella to be able to walk and run well on the beaches near her home in Christchurch, a special ‘beach’ leg would make things much easier for her.
“Ella is a fantastic swimmer, skier, athlete and gymnast and is now facing relearning all these skills with a prosthetic limb.
“The prosthetic limb she will get on the New Zealand NHS will be fine for walking but if she wants to get back to being able to run or go on the beach, she will need special prosthesis designed for this purpose. Katie and Ella thought the fun run would be a good way of getting the community to have some fun and raise some money at the same time.”
The run will form part of Ella and Kate’s community service for the Archbishop of York’s Young Leaders Award. They hope people will be able to get sponsorship for the run and say all age groups are welcome.
Andrea said: “There will be three routes of approximately one mile, three miles and 12 miles. The cost will be £5 per adult entry and £3 per child. Toddling, crawling, walking as well as running will count as accepted methods of completing the course”
Refreshments will be available in the bowling green pavilion.
Andrea added: “Help with marshalling and serving refreshments would be much appreciated if you feel running/walking is not possible.”
If you would like to take part or to offer help, please contact: Andrea and Ella Bookless at firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: 01524 792817/07811324394 or email Joy/Katie: email@example.com Tel: 01524 791777/07702009421
The Forton community has already rallied to the cause and Andrea said: “So far a sponsored silence held in Forton school, a sponsored swim, a pampered chef evening and bar monies from a 40th birthday have raised in excess of £1,000.”
l Sponsorship has been provided by Booths supermarkets; Lanes Vet Group and Rev Stephen Hunt who has donated his own paintings to be raffled.