Nine-year-old cancer survivor from Redruth meets soap stars

Falmouth Packet: Lara Cole with soap stars Jamie Borthwick, Maddy Hill  and Maisie Smith Lara Cole with soap stars Jamie Borthwick, Maddy Hill and Maisie Smith

A BRAVE girl from Redruth who has been treated for cancer was given an out of this world experience at a special party held to salute the courage of all children coping with the disease.

Nine-year-old Lara Cole was a guest of honour at the ‘stars and space’ themed Little Star Awards party, held by Cancer Research UK and TK Maxx at the Kensington Roof Gardens on Saturday in London.

The celebration was organised to help raise awareness of the charity’s work in childhood cancer research.

Lara was one of 21 children from across the UK who came together as special ‘ambassadors’ to represent the 500 children who received Little Star Awards in 2013/14. She enjoyed an afternoon of galactic-inspired games and astronomical activities including experiments with dry ice, slime making, rocket launching and sampling freeze-dried astronaut ice-cream.

Lara and her family also met a line up of celebrities; including Strictly Come Dancing’s Robin Windsor and Kristina Rihanoff, presenter and actress Gaby Roslin and EastEnders stars Maddy Hill (who plays Nancy Carter), Maisie Smith (who plays Tiffany Butcher) and Jamie Borthwick (who plays Jay Mitchell), before receiving her Little Star Awards medal during a presentation ceremony. 

Lara was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia at the age of seven when her mum Rebecca and father Stephen noticed she had become pale and quiet.

Through the gruelling treatment Lara continues to shine and keep smiling and is now in remission.

Rebecca said: “Lara and her brother Treve had an amazing time at the Little Star Party and we were so incredibly proud of them, it is a day we will always remember, it was truly wonderful.”

Alison Birkett, Cancer Research UK spokesman for the South West, said: “It was fantastic to see Lara’s smile light up as she took part in our stars and space-themed party and met lots of celebrities.

“The Little Star Awards party is a truly inspiring event and it is a privilege to be able to recognise the incredible courage of children like Lara who confront cancer with such fortitude.”

Eastenders star Maisie Smith (who plays Tiffany Butcher) and is pictured with Lara said: “I’m so glad I was invited to the Little Stars Awards today. The Little Stars are so brave and they deserve to be celebrated at this special party.”

K Maxx is the biggest corporate supporter of research into children's cancers in the UK, where around 1,600 children are diagnosed with cancer each year. TThe fashion firm's support of the Little Star Awards is part of a year-round partnership with Cancer Research UK. Since 2004 the partnership has raised £17.6 million with £13.1 million going direct to research into children’s cancers.

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