A YOUNG leukaemia patient from Coventry has helped launch a new fundraising initiative for blood cancer by planting dozens of sunflowers.
Nine-year-old Nancy Harvey-Noble was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia in 2012.
Determined not to let her condition drag her down though, the brave youngster joined Lord Mayor of Birmingham, Coun Carl Rice, on Monday (April 3) afternoon to launch ‘Nancy’s Sunflowers’.
Having started it as a way for her and her classmates to raise money for blood cancer research, the campaign plans to help save the lives of more blood cancer patients like Nancy.
And the inspirational youngsters is now encouraging other Coventry schoolchildren to sign up to the initiative and grow the tallest sunflower to win the national prize.
Proud mum Kerry Harvey-Noble said: “It’s really exciting that Nancy’s Sunflowers will be grown all over the UK.
“Nancy started it off as a local fundraising project whereby we grew about 150 sunflowers in our little green house, and she is so pleased that Bloodwise has chosen to do it nationally.
“The sunflowers are a wonderful way to raise money and bring much needed sunshine and smiles into the world.”
The second city is central to the life-saving work carried out by Bloodwise, with £20million invested by the charity in 32 different blood cancer research projects and clinical drugs trials across the city.
Emma Jones, regional fundraising manager for Bloodwise, said: “Nancy’s idea of growing sunflowers to raise money is wonderful.
“It’s a great way to get children interested in not only raising money to help others but also in enjoying the outdoors and learning about growing and caring for nature.
“We’ve worked closely with Nancy to develop the idea even more, and we’re excited to see sunflowers sprouting up all over the country for a good cause.”
Each entrant to the sunflower-growing competition will receive a pack including sunflower seeds, an instruction worksheet and a sponsor form.
There is a suggested £10 minimum sponsorship or equivalent donation.
Visit www.bloodwise.org.uk to register and for more information about the charity.