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Fundraiser is going for gold to help other children fight illness; cancer survivor penny is raising awareness.

Byline: MIKE FULLER Reporter mike.fuller@reachplc.com @mikefuller91

SHE has beaten cancer twice - but even that is not enough to satisfy this eight-year-old girl.

Penny Ridley, from Birtley, is determined poorly children going through what she did will have a better chance against the disease.

Alongside her mum Lynsie Armstrong, 38, they are hoping to turn Birtley gold for Childhood Cancer Awareness Month.

They are asking supporters to put up one of Penny's special posters in their window or wear a gold ribbon throughout September. Lynsie said their efforts were about highlighting the issue to help raise money for research and treatments.

She explained: "Penny and I often wear our gold ribbons and people will ask us what do they mean.

"We just wanted to do something to raise awareness of children's cancer. "The more people find out about it the more people will fundraise which could lead to saving lives.

"We want to take it everywhere but start with Birtley as it has always helped us in the past.

"Hopefully lots of people will get involved. I hadn't even finished setting up the Facebook page before people were getting in touch.

"Penny would be so happy to see lots of gold when we were walking to school or driving through Birtley High Street."

Penny was diagnosed with kidney cancer in March 2014 when she was four years old.

She was put through extensive surgery and chemotherapy to get rid of the tumour the size of an Easter egg.

Penny was given the all-clear in November the same year.

While she was in remission she led a drive to bring Christmas presents to kids on the children's cancer unit at Newcastle's Royal Victoria Infirmary (RVI).

The inspirational youngster also helped fundraise for Prudhoe's Kian Musgrove so he could get to America for treatment for neuroblastoma.

But in August of 2017 doctors found her own cancer had returned and the draining cycle of therapy began all over again.

Penny spent four months in the RVI over Christmas and lost out on a year of school at Portobello Primary.

The animal lover, who has a passion for horses and her three bichon frise dogs Amy, Sam and Matilda, was able to ring the bell for the end of her treatment in March and had a party to celebrate earlier this month.

Despite all this, she is putting all her energy into the Birtley Goes Gold campaign using her creativity to design and print the posters. Lynsie said: "My heart is just so full with pride. After everything Penny has been through she is still trying to help other children.

"She suffered going through the after treatment and still gets other side effects now.

"But Penny just gets on with it. I'm in awe of her. She's my hero."

| To find out more, or if you would like to display one of Penny's posters, contact the Birtley Goes Gold Facebook page or email birtleygoesgold@gmail.com

After everything she has been through she is still trying to help other children Lynsie Armstrong

CAPTION(S):

Penny was diagnosed with kidney cancer when she was four

Penny with her mum Lynsie Armstrong, 38, and their bichon frise puppy Matilda

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Publication:Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)
Date:Aug 29, 2018
Words:535
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