Brave Lucien now the face of national charity

A TODDLER whose parents turned fundraisers after learning he was seriously ill has been chosen as the national face of a children’s charity.

Lucien Knowles has been picked to front a new campaign by CLIC Sargent to highlight its work supporting young people with cancer.

The three-year-old, of South Crescent, East Dene, and his parents, Stacie Lee and Kurt Knowles, know first hand the impact of battling cancer in childhood.

In May 2015, then two-year-old Lucien was diagnosed with rhabdomyosarcoma - a type of soft tissue cancer.

He began treatment at Sheffield Children’s Hospital as a high-risk patient who had a 40 per cent chance of survival.

After intensive chemotherapy and radiotherapy, the little lad is now through the worst of his treatment and his condition has improved greatly.

Lucien will front CLIC Sargent’s campaign to win a £7 million pot of funding from supermarket chain Morrisons, which will be decided by its staff.

The toddler and his family were chosen due to their fundraising efforts since they were delivered the devastating news of Lucien’s illness.

Mum Stacie (25), who also features in the campaign, said: “Seeing your child go through so much is heart-breaking and people don’t realise how much treatment costs financially, too.”

CLIC Sargent research has shown that on average parents face extra living expenses of £600 a month when their child is being treated, with the biggest increased costs being travel expenses and hospital parking fees. 

Across Yorkshire and the Humber in 2015, CLIC Sargent supported 380 children and young people with cancer and awarded £56,000 to families in need of financial assistance.

The charity gave Lucien’s parents financial and emotional support.

Lucien’s photo and story features on posters and leaflets being distributed across the county in a bid to encourage Morrisons’ staff to vote for it as the store’s new charity partner. 

Mother-of-two Stacie added: “Without our CLIC Sargent social worker, I don’t know what we would have done, especially in the early days.  

“Hospital costs a lot of money and the grants and benefits she arranged were a lifesaver.  

“No family should have to go without the support they need when they are going through all this, and I hope Morrisons’ staff realise how important their vote is this January.”

Ruth Caulfield, CLIC Sargent fundraising manager, said £7 million pounds would transform the lives of thousands of young cancer patients and their families.

Ruth said she was proud to have the backing of Lucien’s family and winning the funding would allow the charity to double the amount of financial grants given to families, increase specialist nursing support and create safe havens for families to relax away from cancer wards.    

The charity, which is up against Age UK, will find out next month if it has been successful.