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Family and friends of tragic two-year-old Sophie Atay, who lost her battle with a rare form of cancer in March, are all running in the Children’s Cancer Run this Sunday in honour of the brave toddler.

Sophie’s cousin, Lauren Parkinson, along with 15 of her friends from St. Thomas More School in North Shields are putting on their tutu’s and legwarmers as they join other family members in a bid to raise more money for the North of England Children’s Cancer Research (NECCR) fund at Newcastle’s RVI.

Sophie was diagnosed with a rare form of Neuroblastoma in February last year, a type of cancer that affects only 100 people in the UK each year. After a successful appeal to raise the £500,000 needed for Sophie to receive pioneering treatment in the US – which included a £100,000 donation from pop mogul Simon Cowell – which would have increased her chance of survival from 20% to 60%, she was unfortunately, later deemed too ill to travel by doctors at Newcastle’s RVI. Sophie passed away on 11th March 2010, leaving a legacy of over £500,000 behind her for Neuroblastoma charity, the 2Simple Trust.

Lauren and her classmates, all aged 14, have been carrying out various other fundraising projects since Sophie was first diagnosed with cancer 15 months ago, and have already raised over £2,000 through other activities. They are looking forward to putting on their running shoes this weekend to raise even more.

Lauren’s Mother and Aunty to Sophie, Anne Marie Parkinson, commented, “Other members of the family take part in the run every year and always tell us what a great day it is. Lauren and the girls decided to take part this year in order to do something positive after the terrible death of Sophie in March. We have family members from as far as Scotland coming to take part in the run.

“My sister and Sophie’s Mum, Karine, is determined to ensure Sophie’s death wasn’t in vain, and therefore is extremely keen to keep the memory of her daughter alive whilst also raising the profile of children’s cancer across the country. The Children’s Cancer Run is the ideal charity as it is ultimately about raising money to help children like Sophie, with 100% of the money being used for research into this terrible, life limiting condition.”

The Run raises money for the North of England Children’s Cancer Run (NECCR) at the RVI, which carries out imperative research into a wide variety of children’s cancers.

To take part in the next Children’s Cancer Run or one of our other fundraising events, please visit

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