As part of a children’s choir made up of young people who have experienced a cancer diagnosis, a South London girl performed to a star-studded audience at the Children with Cancer UK Gala.
The choir, involving 11 children along with some of their siblings, sang a unique rendition of A Million Dreams from The Greatest Showman with Girls Aloud star, Nicola Roberts, supported by musical director Adam Gerber and students from Anglia Ruskin University.
A member of the choir included Phoebe Folarin, aged 13, from Brockley, South London. In 2012, Phoebe was diagnosed and underwent treatment for Wilms’ tumour, a type of kidney cancer, shortly before her second birthday. Phoebe sang as part of the choir on the evening to hundreds of guests, which included her mum Laura.
Famous faces including TV personality Vanessa Feltz, journalist and presenter Andrea McLean, TV and radio presenter Angellica Bell, interior designer Kelly Hoppen, TV personality Ollie Locke and Ambassador for the charity, Olympian Paula Radcliffe, showed their support at this year’s Children with Cancer UK annual Gala, which took place at London’s Grosvenor House.
Hosted by TV and radio presenter, Gaby Roslin, the fundraising event on Saturday 11 November welcomed over 600 guests and raised over £620,000 to help fund the charity’s ground-breaking research into the treatment and causes of childhood cancers. Offering a spectacular evening of fundraising and entertainment, guests at the Gala also enjoyed a live music set from Grammy-award winners, Soul II Soul, including their number one hit, Back to Life.
Children with Cancer UK is one of the leading national children’s charities working towards a world where every child survives cancer.
Phoebe’s mum Laura commented: “To watch Phoebe perform on stage with Nicola Roberts to hundreds of guests after everything she went through at such a young age, was an incredibly proud and emotional moment. No child should have to receive a cancer diagnosis and we hope that the choir’s performance at the Gala will help increase awareness and understanding of childhood cancer, and raise vital funding to support other young patients and their families who are fighting this devastating disease.”
Jo Elvin, CEO of Children with Cancer UK, said: “We’d like to thank Phoebe and all of the members of the children’s choir for giving such an inspiring performance at this year’s Children with Cancer UK Gala. It was an incredibly moving moment and a privilege to hear the stories of the young choir members and their families.
“Every pound raised from this year’s Gala will make an immediate impact for children and their families by helping to fund life-saving scientific research into childhood cancers and provide crucial ongoing support for young cancer patients and their loved ones.”
Survival rates for children’s cancers are improving. Fifty years ago, three-quarters of children diagnosed with cancer did not survive; today more than 8 in 10 children diagnosed with cancer in the UK survive. However, around 4,200 children and young adults are diagnosed with cancer each year in the UK, and cancer is one of the leading causes of death for young people.
All funds raised at the Children with Cancer UK Gala will support specialist childhood cancer research to help improve the diagnosis, treatment and long-term care of children with cancer.