TOWIE treat for teen with rare cancer
News release and photo for immediate use
Tuesday 23 October 2012
14 year old Hayley Stroud has never missed an episode of The Only Way is Essex (TOWIE). And when she was diagnosed with a very rare form of cancer, the show gave her something to focus on during hospital stays. So when Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK, the charity that grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions, asked Hayley what her one wish was she of course chose to go to the set of the ITV show…
When Hayley arrived at Sugar Hut on Thursday 18 October, TOWIE star Lauren Pope was waiting to meet her – Hayley was speechless! Then in walked her favourite character, Joey Essex…all Hayley could say was “I love you”! She spent some time chatting to Joey about how his skinny trousers weren’t skinny enough, before meeting Mick Norcross and Charlie King. She was then shown round Sam and Billy Faiers’ shop and watched Joey and James ‘Arg’ Argent film a scene. Joey and Arg then invited Hayley out for dinner – this nearly caused Hayley to burst with excitement! Her day ended with a tour of Essex – with stops at Joey’s flat and Arg’s house – before heading back to Sugar Hut, where she bumped into Diags and Tom Kilbey.
Hayley said: “You know when a little kid meets Mickey Mouse – that’s what it was like meeting Joey! It was the best day of my life.”
Hayley, who is from Penarth in South Wales, was diagnosed with Mesenchymal Chondrosarcoma last year after a chest X-ray which showed a shadow. She was called back for a second X-ray, and this one revealed the tumour under her rib. Hayley started chemotherapy in October, which caused her to lose her hair, then in March this year she had the tumour removed. She had chemotherapy every 21 days but regularly caught infections, which meant most of her time was spent in hospital. Hayley’s Mum, Sarah, said that seeing Hayley in hospital was excruciating and the only time that she didn’t mind leaving her was when TOWIE was on. Hayley is still recovering from surgery and will continue to have check-ups every three months for the next five years. Sadly, just a few months ago Hayley’s cousin passed away from a double brain tumour.
Sarah said: “Hayley is just getting her confidence back now and this has certainly give her a big boost as well as some very special memories after an extremely tough year. She nearly passed out with excitement when she first found out her wish was being granted and the day itself was above and beyond what we ever expected. I’ve never seen Hayley that happy and animated; she was dazzling.”
Joey Essex said: “We had such a wicked day with Hayley, it was really great to meet her and show her round Essex! She’s a really brave and lovely girl and deserved to have a day to remember.”
There are currently 20,000 children and young people in theUKfighting a life-threatening condition and this year alone 1,400 children will turn to Make-A-Wish to have their wish granted. The charity needs to raise £6.8 million in 2012 and receives no government funding or lottery grants – so every donation really does count.
To make a donation to Make-A-Wish please visit www.make-a-wish.org.uk or telephone 01276 40 50 60.
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For more information about this news release please contact:
Hayley Epps: T: 01276 405093 M: 07557563214 E:
Notes to editors:
1. More photos available if required and the family are available for interview.
2. Please note that Make-A-Wish does not use phrases such as ‘terminally ill’ in order to respect the sensitive nature of life-threatening conditions and what they mean to children and young people and their families. We would ask that this approach is followed and that the term ‘life-threatening conditions’ is used in material for publication.
3. Make-A-Wish should be referred to as Make-A-Wish Foundation® UK in the first instance. Thereafter ‘Make-A-Wish’ or ‘Make-A-Wish Foundation’ is suitable. We would ask that you try to keep ‘Make-A-Wish’ on the same line.
4. Make-A-Wish grants magical wishes to children and young people fighting life-threatening conditions. The charity was founded in the UK in 1986. Registered charity number: 295672/SC037479 www.make-a-wish.org.uk.