A mum from Burgess Hill whose son was diagnosed with cancer when he was just 18-months-old is calling for people to buy strawberries, and help stop cancer destroying young lives.
Natasha Penney’s son Seb Stevens was diagnosed with bladder and prostate cancer in October 2015, following many visits to the GP and hospital. The family was supported throughout their ordeal by children and young people’s cancer support charity CLIC Sargent.
Morrisons chose CLIC Sargent as its new charity partner in February, and aims to raise £8 million over the next three years. To kick start the campaign the supermarket is now donating 20p from the sale of British strawberries to the cause.
Each £2 pack features the charity’s ‘Young Lives vs Cancer’ tagline and logo. British strawberries will arrive in most stores for the first time this week, and will be available in all stores by mid-April. You can also buy packs online direct from Morrisons' website.
Emma Spencer, Strawberry Buyer, Morrisons, said:
“These strawberries are our first British fruit crop of the new season, which is something we look forward to every year. We’re delighted to be celebrating this year by raising tens of thousands of pounds for this great cause.”
Seb’s family found the financial implications of his treatment tough to deal with. But CLIC Sargent Social Workers helped with financial grants and advice that helped them keep their heads above water. The charity’s research has found that on average parents face additional costs of £600 a month when their child is on active cancer treatment. The number one expense incurred is extra travel costs for hospital treatment at specialist hospitals – closely followed by extra food.
“When your child has cancer it’s a very expensive time. The cost of food and car parking fees because you need to be in the hospital with your child all the time really does add up”, says Seb’s mum Natasha.
“CLIC Sargent helped us massively by sorting out car parking costs and grants to help with all the extra costs we had. The support we got was amazing.”
Seb faced intenstive chemotherapy, radiotherapy and major surgery to remove the tumour. But now, aged three, he is doing well and attends regular scans and biopsies to monitor a piece of tumour that was left behind as it was too difficult to remove.
He enjoys playing with his friends, arts and crafts, and activities with mum Natasha. The pair have shared a recipe for a strawberry ice cream milkshake on CLIC Sargent’s website in support of the campaign.
Natasha adds: “Buying some strawberries from Morrisons is such a simple way people can get involved and help families like ours through an incredibly tough time.
“It’s brilliant that Morrisons has pledged to raise £8 million over the next three years, it will make a real difference, especially to families struggling financially due to the extra costs of cancer.”
Seb and Natasha’s strawberry ice cream milkshake
- 225g strawberry, hulled
- 300ml cold milk
- 3 large scoops vanilla ice cream
- extra strawberries, to serve (optional)
- Tip the hulled strawberries into a food processor with the milk and ice cream. Blend until smooth and creamy.
- Pour into tall glasses, top with sliced strawberries.
- Enjoy your milkshake, safe in the knowledge that your tasty treat eating is helping young lives against cancer.
For more information, an interview or images, please email Rebecca.Bourley@clicsargent.org.uk or call her on 020 8752 2812.