Three-year-old cancer victim to participate in Bury St Edmunds Race for Life next weekend with her mum

Leah Clark from Rickinhall who will be starting the Race For Life this weekend in Bury St Edmunds. With her mum Kirsty Hudson. Leah Clark from Rickinhall who will be starting the Race For Life this weekend in Bury St Edmunds. With her mum Kirsty Hudson.

Sunday, June 15, 2014
12:33 PM

A mother has spoken of the shock she felt at discovering her three-year-old daughter had a rare form of cancer.

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Leah Clark from Rickinhall who will be starting the Race For Life next weekend in Bury St Edmunds. With her mum Kirsty Hudson.Leah Clark from Rickinhall who will be starting the Race For Life next weekend in Bury St Edmunds. With her mum Kirsty Hudson.

Rickinghall fundraiser Kirsty Hudson’s daughter Leah Clark, four, was diagnosed with the rare tissue cancer rhabdomyosarcoma after a tumour was found in her stomach in March 2013.

However, the youngster had not really had any symptoms before being diagnosed, only that she had not been feeling 100% and had stomach pains, which was initially believed to be related to allergies she has. Her energy levels also dropped and she no longer wanted to play outside.

When the pain became more severe, Ms Hudson took Leah to a doctor in Botesdale, who sent her to West Suffolk Hospital, Bury St Edmunds, where staff could see she was in a lot of pain and arranged for a scan, which revealed the tumour.

She has since come through courses of radiotherapy and chemotherapy and her courage has led to her being chosen by Cancer Research UK to sound the starting horn for 1,500 runners at the charity’s Race for Life event at Nowton Park, Bury, on June 22.

“To be honest, we did not really have time to stop and think about her diagnosis because it was all so hectic at the time, but obviously it was a huge shock because before Leah was diagnosed I had not known of a child having cancer before.

“It is the last thing you want it to be and obviously once I knew what it was, it was a massive shock,” Ms Hudson, 23, added.

After the tumour was discovered, Leah was transferred to Addenbrooke’s Hospital, Cambridge, where her exact condition was diagnosed and spent four and a half weeks at the hospital while her family stayed in accommodation provided by the charity the Sick Children’s Trust, which supports families with sick children in hospital. She underwent seven months of chemotherapy, during which time she experienced sickness and hair loss and a course of radiotherapy at the University College of London.

Ms Hudson added: “It was really nice that they decided to pick us to start the race and Leah is really excited about it.”

• Ms Hudson will be undertaking a sponsored skydive for The Sick Children’s Trust at Norwich Airport on July 12. To sponsor her, visit www.doitforcharity.com/kirstyhudson.

• Do you know a child doing something special who deserves recognition? Email dominic.bareham2@archant.co.uk.

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