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The Harris will now turn gold for childhood cancer this year

Posted on - 27th September, 2018 - 8:00pm | Author - | Posted in - Charities, Politics, Preston City Centre, Preston Council, Preston News

The Harris Museum is to be lit gold throughout September

The golden glow in September 2016 for the Harris

Preston will light up its iconic Harris Museum and Arts Gallery to show solidarity with awareness events.

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Stephen Walker approached Preston City Council to ask if they would turn the building gold, as they had done in 2016, to mark childhood cancer awareness.

But Mr Walker, whose son Ryan was diagnosed with a tumour in his kidney in 2014, was initially told it would be too expensive for the city to join in the worldwide movement.

Ryan, now aged 8, completed his treatment in 2015 but still needs regular check-ups to ensure the Wilms tumour has not returned.

Stephen with his wife Rachel, son Ryan on the left and his other son Ethan on the right.
Stephen with his wife Rachel, son Ryan on the left and his other son Ethan on the right.

Mr Walker, 46, who lives in Lower Penwortham, said: “The only issue he currently has, is that his teeth are in a poor condition, due to the effects of the chemotherapy.

“Wilms’ cancer is the most common form of kidney cancer affecting children.

“They have turned the Harris gold the last few years but said they can’t they couldn’t do it this year due to the costs involved.”

However, since Blog Preston make an initial approach to the city council to ask why Mr Walker’s request had been rejected the council has now decided the lighting up can go ahead.

What the city council have to say

Cabinet member for culture and leisure councillor Peter Kelly said: “The Harris will be lit from Friday 28 September each evening for a week showing our support to stop childhood cancer.

“To support baby loss awareness week, the Harris will also be lit blue and pink each evening between 9 – 15 October.

“A review of an earlier decision has been taken following additional requests and we are now in a position to facilitate lighting up the Harris in this way for these important local campaigns.”

Read more: Harris lights up with ‘Love Notes to Preston’

Mr Walker said, upon hearing the council’s new decision: “I am very happy this decision has been made, a gesture like this shows the support to affected families when they feel so isolated.

“I look forward to working with the council in the future to help with awareness.”

About Wilms’ cancer

Wilms’ tumor is the most common type of kidney cancer that affects children.

Most children are diagnosed with Wilms’ tumours that only affect one kidney. Approximately 5 percent of children diagnosed with this condition have tumours in both kidneys.

The tumours often progress to a large size before they are noticed and can grow larger than the kidney itself.

Signs to look for include abdominal pain and swelling, or an abdominal mass.

What do you think? Should the Harris be lit up? Let us know in the comments below

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