ATWO-YEAR-OLD suffering from leukaemia is the face of a campaign to raise awareness of childhood cancer.
Hattie’s Haka, which was launched last year, is encouraging businesses to turn “gold” – the official colour of Childhood Cancer Awareness Month – in September.
Posters of little Hattie Seymour, from Leigh, will be displayed in businesses across the town encouraging people not only to give donations, but also to think about the way treatment for childhood cancer is funded and to highlight the symptoms.
Hattie’s mum, Katie Seymour, 30, of Burnham Road, Leigh, said: “It’s not just about fundraising, it’s about raising awareness. We want everyone to know the symptoms and we want to put more pressure on Cancer Research UK to get more funding.
“Only two per cent of moneywent on research into childhood cancer. We want them to do more drug trials for children.”
Hattie’s parents set up the Hattie’s Haka appeal to help her fight against acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. It asked supporters to emulate the New Zealand rugby team’s famous ceremonial war dance by filming themselves in warpaint and making a small charity donation.
So far, it has raised almost £21,000.
Hattie has undergone gruelling rounds of chemotherapy at Great Ormond Street Hospital, in London, and is doing well. The family also want supporters to donate blood and platelets to help others like Hattie.
Joshua Adams, 30 a partner in Southend-based business marketing company Coast Collective, is spearheading the latest campaign.
He has signed up Leigh businesses and is set to canvass others across Southend.
He said: “Child cancer gets a pretty harddeal in terms of recognition and funding.
“To raise awareness, businesses in the local area are being asked to displaygold in one way or another. My favourite idea so far is having piggy banks spray-painted gold, and sitting behind counters of shops with a sign saying, ‘Ask Why I’m Here’, which will hopefully raise both awareness, and a bit of money along the way.”
Businesses interested in taking part in the appeal can email joshua@thecoast collective.com There will be a fun run for Hattie’s Haka in Chalkwell Park on September 1, from 10am. Entrance is £8 and sponsored entrants get a T-shirt and medal.