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In 2023 more than 100 community and corporate supporters helped raise thousands of pounds for Children’s Cancer North by completing some amazing fundraising challenges.

One of those very special people was Karen Codling from Skelton in Cleveland, who along with her sister, Nicola Smith, and friends/colleagues Kerry Carter and Nichola Munro, raised a staggering £4,870 for Children’s Cancer North by each completing a tandem skydive.

Karen and her family/friends chose to support our charity after Karen’s son, Spencer, was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukaemia (ALL) in October 2020. During his treatment at the Great North Children’s Hospital in Newcastle, Spencer and his family received lots of support, both on and off the ward, from Children’s Cancer North.

Karen said: “Children’s Cancer North are an amazing charity who have helped Spencer and supported us as a family. This is just one of the fundraising events we have taken part in to give something back to the charity.”

Karen’s first fundraising challenge for Children’s Cancer North was the Great North Run in 2022; running alongside her husband Joe (Spencer’s Dad), sister Nicola (Spencer’s auntie), and other members of the family. As a non-runner, it was a tough challenge for Karen, but she completed the half marathon and they collectively raised £4,044 for the charity. When asked if she would run it again in 2023, her response was “I’d rather jump out of a plane.” So that’s exactly what she did!

As preparations for the tandem skydive were underway, the family received some devastating news. Spencer relapsed in March 2023 and required a bone marrow transplant, which took place in June 2023.

Whilst Karen was in hospital caring for Spencer, Nichola and Kerry completed their tandem skydive and when Spencer was discharged from the Great North Children’s Hospital, Karen was able to complete her skydive, along with the support of her sister, Nicola.

Karen continued: “Our initial goal was to raise £950, and collectively we managed to raise an incredible £4,870! We are absolutely blown away by the generosity of our friends and family and hope this money will really help the charity.

“Since Spencer’s diagnosis we have been supported by Children’s Cancer North, and this is our way of giving something back. Fundraising to support research into finding kinder treatments for children is so important and we will continue to raise money for this wonderful charity.”

We are enormously grateful to Karen, Nicola, Kerry and Nichola for their generous donation. Because of fundraising activity like this, our charity can continue to provide support to children and their families in the North East and Cumbria affected by childhood cancer; invest in revolutionary research and clinical trials to make cancer treatments less harsh and more effective; and raise awareness of childhood cancer.

Following Spencer’s recent treatment, Karen and her family are also raising awareness of the importance of stem cell donation. For someone with blood cancer or a blood disorder, donated stem cells could be their best chance of survival. To find out more about joining the stem cell register, please visit www.anthonynolan.org or www.dkms.org.uk.

If you’d like to set up a fundraising event in aid of Children’s Cancer North, you can find more information here, or feel free to contact us with any questions via
contactus@childrenscancernorth.org.uk.

You can also fundraise by taking part in some amazing UK and European sporting events and pledging to raise money for Children’s Cancer North. Find more information here.

Learn more about setting up your own fundraising event in aid of Children’s Cancer North

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