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Brave Rebecca is in a race to inspire others with her courage.

Byline: Lyndsay Oxley Reporter

A BRAVE Billingham youngster who has battled a rare cancer is set to inspire others and share her survival story at this weekend's Race for Life event in Hartlepool.

Rebecca Henderson, nine, has been invited to the Cancer Research UK event as a guest of honour, 12 months after attending in a wheelchair in the middle of intensive chemotherapy treatment.

Rebecca went last year with her mum Tracy, dad Paul and younger brother Jake.

Together they cheered on around 40 staff, pupils and parents of Brougham Primary School, where Tracy works as a teacher.

The school team ran for Rebecca as she watched on from her wheelchair.

Just three weeks after her eighth birthday in February 2014, Rebecca's family received the devastating news that their daughter's leg swelling had not been caused by a muscle tear but by alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma, a rare type of soft tissue cancer which affects only 60 children each year. After having to undergo gruelling treatment including four operations, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the family received the wonderful news in October that the cancer was in remission.

Now, Rebecca is ready to share her inspirational story with others who have been affected by the disease.

Although, the Bewley Primary School pupil remains on maintenance chemotherapy for the next four months, she will take to the main stage with her mum at Sunday's event to share her story and inspire the crowds.

Tracy, 40, said: "Last year she had only just had her operation to remove her main tumour.

"She was hoping to be able to take part this year but her leg has not recovered enough.

"She is feeling much better in herself though and she is able to walk short distances. There is a fantastic difference.

"She is keen to speak and she does not seem fazed by it at all."

Cancer Research UK's Race for Life, in partnership with Tesco, is an inspiring women-only series of 5k, 10k, Pretty Muddy and marathon Life allows Cancer Research UK's doctors, nurses and scientists to advance research which is helping to save the lives of men, women and children.

Cancer Research UK's events manager, Anna Thompson, said: "Sadly, most of us know someone whose life has been touched by cancer but thanks to the huge progress that has been made in the fight against the disease, more people are surviving cancer than ever before. Our aim is that one day everyone will beat cancer."

Tracy added: "It was an amazing thing to watch last year but this year is even more special.

"Whatever money is raised it does make a difference to these children's lives.

"It is bad enough seeing your child go through something like this. I would just hope no-one has to go through what our child has gone through."


Rebecca pictured during her treatement last year with mum Tracy, dad Paul and younger brother Jake

Rebecca Henderson, who will be sharing her story and, right, during her |chemotherapy last year 020715REBECCA_006 IAN COOPER

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Publication:Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)
Geographic Code:4EUUK
Date:Jul 3, 2015
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