A family from Fowlmere, near Royston has entered four teams into this year’s Chariots of Fire in memory of their daughter Eilish who sadly died of an aggressive form of kidney cancer last year.
Eilish Mulholland was just four years old when she lost her brave 51 week battle against the disease in October 2014.
She was diagnosed with Wilms tumour, cancer of the kidney, in October 2013. After surgery and initial treatments of chemotherapy and radiotherapy it was clear that standard treatments were not working. Oncologists at Addenbrookes hospital worked tirelessly to find alternatives and Eilish was accepted on a clinical trail at The Royal Marsden; a world-leading cancer centre specialising in diagnosis, treatment, care, education and research.Sadly Eilish’s cancer returned and the Mulholland family began working with East Anglia's Children's Hospices (EACH) Symptom Management Team. This specialist team deliver care and support 24 hours a day, seven days a week ensuring all eligible life-threatened children, young people and their families have access to support and advice. Together with the community care teams EACH put plans in place to so Eilish could remain cared for and comfortable at home until she sadly passed away on 13th October 2014.
The official charity for this year’s Chariots of Fire, organised by Hewitsons Charitable Trust and supported by the News, takes places on Sunday 20th September, is East Anglia’s Children’s Hospices (EACH) and funds raised will be used to support the Symptom Management Team. The Mulholland family have joined together with friends to enter four teams to raise valuable funds in memory of Eilish. Eilish’s whole family have continued to receive support including her older brother Paul, who is seven, regularly attends sibling activities and receives art therapy at school once a week.
Angela Mulholland, Eilish’s mum, said: “The care and support we have received from EACH has been invaluable to us - to ensure Eilish was as comfortable as possible and after she gained her wings to help us through a very difficult year. We desperately wanted to care for Eilish at home and this would not have been possible without the support of the Symptom Management Team and EACH. Paul has been helped through a difficult time with his support at sibling days and art therapy. These sessions not only allow him to remember Eilish and to talk about her with someone who’s not family, but to help him learn how to carry on his life without his best friend.“We as a family want to raise money for charities that have supported us throughout Eilish’s illness and beyond, and this includes EACH. As soon as I knew that Chariots of Fire was specifically for the Symptom Management Team, there was no question that we wanted to support them. This is our first year of running, I’m excited about joining in the fun atmosphere and raising money for this great team and as for the running…well we’ll see about that. My aim, along with lots of my team members, is to get round and have fun!”
The Symptom Management Team was formed in 2010, initially funded as a pilot scheme by the True Colour Trust to develop a 24/7 community based service. EACH decided to continue to fund this service from 2013. The service is seen, both regionally and nationally, as a pioneering service in children’s palliative and end of life care and this model has since been used as a basis for similar services across the country. Angela added: “Families need this team and staff at EACH to support them, not just with their child’s medical needs, but to help with the psychosocial impact an illness has on other family members. Any money raised by teams in Chariots of Fire will mean that these important and necessary services can continue to be available to many more families when they need it most.” To show your support to the four teams running in memory of Eilish you can visit their Justgiving page: www.justgiving.com/ChariotsofFire4Eilish
Chariots of Fire is the region’s longest running charity event and will be taking place on Sunday 20th September, starting at 9.30am. The relay race sees runners following in the footsteps of the famous film, taking in the streets and colleges of central Cambridge. Teams of six are entered and every team member runs 1.5 miles.