Inspirational pupil Frankie gets whole Chorley school on the run

Youngsters rally round to help raise funds thanks to fighter Frankie’s determination

Friday, 28th May 2021, 2:51 pm
Updated Friday, 28th May 2021, 4:38 pm
Frankie Garbett cuts the ribbon to get the Race For Life events at St Laurence CE Primary School, Chorley, started

The whole of a Chorley primary school set foot on a very special race.

St Laurence’s PTFA 5k Race for Life involved all the school’s pupils who ran, walked or jogged to raise money for Cancer Research UK.

It was organised following a call from inspirational youngster Frankie Garbett, who is a pupil at the school, to Race for Life at Home.

Sandra Kane, Frankie, Finlay and Dave Garbett at the Race For Life event at St Laurence CE Primary School in Chorley

Frankie, eight, from Chorley, survived rhabdomyosarcoma – an aggressive childhood cancer – that had wrapped itself around 25 per cent of her bladder.

Frankie and her family are hoping people will run, walk or jog 5K for Cancer Research UK.

The fundraising is even more important than ever, because the charity is predicting a £300m drop in income caused by Covid-19 over the next three years .

This could put future medical breakthroughs at risk.  

Frankie Garbett leads the way at the start of the Race For Life events at St Laurence CE Primary School, Chorley Photos: Kelvin Stuttard

All 400 mass-participation Race for Life events across the UK were cancelled last year to protect the country’s health during the pandemic.

And as the country emerges from lockdown, the charity’s much-loved Race for Life events which were scheduled for this spring and early summer have also now been postponed.

But Frankie, her mum Sandra, dad Dave and older brother Finlay, know exactly how vital it is to keep raising funds for life-saving research.  

Since Frankie’s initial diagnosis, she has faced 15 blood transfusions and was admitted to hospital more than 100 times in 12 months.

Pupils take part in the Race For Life event at St Laurence CE Primary School in Chorley

The youngster finished cancer treatment in 2017.

And she reached a major milestone in 2020 having been clear of cancer for three years. Frankie has been left with long term problems with her kidneys and one of them only works at 50 per cent capacity.

Doctors are now hoping to build a new bladder for Frankie from part of her large intestine.

At the St Laurence’s event, children ran in their class bubble, each with a ‘back sign’ to wear on their backs where they could write the name of the person they were running for.

Every child received a medal at the end of their race.

Unfortunately, due to restrictions, parents were unable to go along and give their support, but the school posted the event on its Twitter page and the Guardian took photographs.

Headteacher Emma Marquis said: “We had a fabulous day. We were obviously very excited to be supporting a charity that’s very close to our hearts here. It was lovely to come together as a school.

“It was the first time we’d had a whole school event.”

She added: “Frankie was the star of our show because she’s an absolute inspiration. It was lovely to share the day with her family.

“The children were just amazing.

“They ran and ran and ran. They just kept on going.

“It was a really lovely event, the staff, too, everybody, was just excited.

“We’re amazed at how much money we’ve raised.

“It was £2,696 as of this morning.

“We had support from our families and the wider community.”

Cancer Research UK’s Race for Life, which has been in partnership with Tesco for 20 years, is an inspiring series of 3K, 5K, 10K, Pretty Muddy and Pretty Muddy Kids events which raise millions of pounds every year to help beat cancer by funding crucial research.  

The school has set up a Just Giving page for anyone who would like to donate.

If you would like to donate then follow this link