Alec’s story: What can you do to support cancer research this month?

Glen and Nicola Carpenter with their son Alec, of Stowmarket, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma a

Glen and Nicola Carpenter with their son Alec, of Stowmarket, who was diagnosed with neuroblastoma aged 4 monthsPicture: MARK LANGFORD - Credit: Archant

A Stowmarket family is urging people to donate their unwanted clothes in support of Cancer Research UK.

Nicola is sure that twenty years ago Alec's cancer would have been untreatable Picture: MARK LANGFOR

Nicola is sure that twenty years ago Alec's cancer would have been untreatable Picture: MARK LANGFORD - Credit: Archant

September is Childhood Cancer Awareness Month and the family of Alec Carpenter who was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma aged 4 months, is asking people to clear out their wardrobes to support TK Maxx’s Give Up Clothes For Good campaign.

The campaign supports Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens, a charity who have done so much to help fund cancer research and to support Alec’s condition in particular.

Nicola Carpenter, Alec’s mum, said: “Cancer Research do a fantastic job, last year they gave £4 million to Neuroblastoma cancer research and seeing as only 90 children were diagnosed with it last year, that’s pretty incredible.”

“Research can only help, even if it goes bad, research can only help, at least something will be ruled out.”


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While Alec is now in remission, this year he had three follow-up operations due to complications with his initial surgery and he continues to struggle with ongoing late effects (side effects that occur after cancer treatment).

Alec’s mum Nicola Carpenter said: “It doesn’t end when the cancer treatment stops.”

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Whilst complications continue Neuroblastoma has a high chance of recurrence, if Alec’s cancer does return then there are six medical treatment trials he can go on, all of them funded by Cancer Research UK.

The family have become ambassadors for the charity and were keen to donate tissue samples for research.

“They do such vital work, research is the only way forward, when you are diagnosed with cancer you are asked if your biological waste can go to be used for research, so many people say no to that,” said Nicola.

“20 years ago Alec wouldn’t have survived, he was diagnosed with stage 4 Neuroblastoma, stage 4 didn’t survive, look how far we’ve come and think how far we could go.”

That’s why Nicola is urging people to donate their unwanted quality clothing, accessories and homeware to their nearest TK Maxx store. When resold by Cancer Research UK, each bag of items donated could raise up to £30

Donated items are being collected from all TK Maxx stores across the UK, including at Chelmer Village Retail Park.

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