A schoolgirl from Cheadle Hulme has joined forces with her classmates to raise more than £4,000 to thank the hospital where her mum is being treated for breast cancer.

Kathleen Miller, aged 11, was determined to do some fundraising to support her mum, who is currently being treated at The Christie for secondary breast cancer.

Kathleen, a pupil at St James’ Catholic High School, decided to rally together all her form mates and has organised a mammoth sponsored run, running the equivalent of the six miles from their school in Cheadle Hulme to The Christie in Withington. The form of 27 pupils will be completing the first 5 miles of the run in their own time over the course of a week. They will join forces for the final leg, completing the last mile as a form together on Wednesday December 16 in the grounds of the school.

Kathleen’s mum Judith, age 55, was diagnosed with terminal metastatic breast cancer earlier this year and is currently being treated with chemotherapy at The Christie. Judith said: “My cancer is now sadly advanced and the aim of the chemotherapy is to keep it under control for as long as possible. The Christie is providing incredible clinical and pastoral support to our family in trying to control the progression of this disease and gift us more time together as a family.”

Kathleen is the youngest of Judith and husband Martin's five daughters, who range in age from 11 to 23 years. Over the years, the family has organised numerous events to raise money for The Christie including cake sales and sponsored runs.

Judith said: “Kathleen really wanted to do something to try and help build something positive out of our situation. So, with the support of her school, she has organised this event where she and all her classmates will run the equivalent distance of the six miles between St James’ and The Christie.

“We’re so proud of Kathleen and, in particular, that she has done this off her own initiative. We are very grateful to everyone involved at the school who have helped to make this happen and raise such a large amount of money for The Christie who are helping our family through this difficult time. We are amazed how generous people have been to Kathleen – friends and family have really rallied to provide such phenomenal support and we’re incredibly touched.”

 So far, the online total stands at more than £4,000 and Kathleen has been overwhelmed with the success.

Kathleen said: "Well, I wanted to do something to support The Christie and help other families like mine. I am so grateful for all the support I have received from all the people who have given something. I never expected this to happen, as my teacher said that it might not work. I also didn't think this amount of money from family, friends and others would come in. I can't thank them enough!"

Mr Cawley, Head of Year 7 at St James’ Catholic High School said: "Kathleen is an outstanding student so I am not surprised by her ability to show qualities and skills beyond her years. She has shown superb leadership qualities and her fellow Year 7s have displayed great compassion and enthusiasm for the cause. Their form tutor, Mr Hall, will also be running the final mile with them. Both he and I are so proud of the efforts of Kathleen and her form."

Josh Hughff, sporting events officer at The Christie, said: “We were delighted to hear about Kathleen’s fundraising challenge, and we’re so very grateful to her and all her classmates for what they are doing to support patients just like Kathleen’s mum, it’s incredible to see so many young people get involved in fundraising, and they are all doing amazingly! We wish them all they very best of luck with their running!” 

The Christie charity supports the work of The Christie NHS Foundation Trust providing enhanced services over and above what the NHS funds. This includes money for care and treatment, research, education and extra patient services. Gifts from the public make a huge difference to the care and treatment that The Christie is able to provide to patients and their families. 

The Christie NHS Foundation Trust was the first specialist trust to be rated as ‘Outstanding’ twice (in 2016 and 2018) by the health regulator the Care Quality Commission (CQC). It referred to The Christie as ‘a leader in cancer care’ and ‘a pioneer in developing innovative solutions to cancer care.’ The CQC praised the Trust’s staff which it said ‘go the extra mile to meet the needs of patients and their families’ and that they were ‘exceptionally kind and caring.’ In 2017, the CQC rated The Christie as the best specialist trust in the country, and one of the top three trusts overall in England.