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Team Maisie's epic climb and swim for Teenage Cancer Trust

PUBLISHED: 15:14 07 July 2017 | UPDATED: 15:14 07 July 2017

Maisie Colquhoun a few months before she passed away

Maisie Colquhoun a few months before she passed away

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The family of Maisie Colquhoun from Wymondham who lost the battle with Ewings Sarcoma are taking on a heroic climb and swim for the Teenage Cancer Trust

Team Maisie in trainingTeam Maisie in training

In the face of adversity people often launch into positive actions. Maisie Colquhoun certainly did.

Maisie, from Wymondham, was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a rare and aggressive bone cancer when she was 15 years old. She was told of the likely outcome but chose to put up a courageous and inspiring fight.

Around seven young people aged between 13 and 24 are diagnosed with cancer every day in the UK. If they live in Norfolk they could be treated at the Norfolk and Norwich Hospital or at Addenbrooke’s on the Teenage Cancer Trust’s (TCT) C9 ward. Maisie was sent to Addenbrooke’s where she underwent chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant. Despite all the side effects of the treatments her amazing character shone through, she remained positive and determined to fight the cancer.

Maisie and her family were incredibly impressed and grateful for the support and standard of care they received on the TCT C9 ward. Iain Colquhoun, Maisie’s dad said: “From a family perspective there was a massive advantage being able to stay constantly by Maisie’s side throughout her year-long treatment, for example being able to sleep in her room and not missing out on any moments when Maisie needed someone and extra support. This also included her close friends, who could stay late into the evening giving her some normality and social interaction.”

The Colquhoun family felt strongly it was something that every young person should have access to and so decided to raise funds for Teenage Cancer Trust C9 ward at Addenbrooke’s.

In 2015, a close family friend, Andrea Lucchetti, organised a 100-mile bicycle ride around Lake Como in Italy to raise funds for Maisie and the TCT’s C9 ward. Maisie went along but was not well enough to participate; but it was Maisie’s courage, kindness and positivity that inspired people to train hard and complete the gruelling 100 mile ride. Tragically Maisie did not survive the cancer and she died a few days after her 17th birthday.

To carry on Maisie’s wish to raise more essential funds for the TCT’s C9 ward 20 crazy people, including the family, are going to climb a mountain higher than Ben Nevis in temperatures of around 35 - 40 degrees and then swim across Lake Como, one of the deepest lakes in Europe! ‘Team Maisie’ have started their training for the climb; boots are being broken in and blisters burst on long walks and there’s a lot of sore limbs after the early morning swims.

Two of Maisie’s friends, 11-year-old Ruby and 13-year-old Ollie Lucchetti, are both in training to swim across the lake.

They gave their reasons for taking part: “We want to do the swim across Lake Como to remember Maisie and to remember how lovely she was. We want other teenagers to get as much help as possible. The Teenage Cancer Trust is a great cause; they make the lives of teens with cancer a lot better, by doing events and supporting fun things. And we think that’s really important”

And that help can make all the difference. Dr Helen Hatcher, consultant oncologist at Cambridge University Hospitals, said: “Evidence shows that a dedicated unit staffed by specialist consultants and nurses results in better survival rates and faster recovery.”

Maisie Colquhoun was a thoughtful and brave young woman, she remains an inspiration to many.

Please visit www.themaisie100.com to donate.

Keep up to date with the challenge on The Maisie 100 Facebook page and Twitter

To find out more about Teenage Cancer Trust and their work, visit their website: www.teenagecancertrust.org

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