Cancer sufferer Kelly and survivor daughter, eight-year-old Lily, to open country's biggest Cancer Research UK store in Stevenage
PUBLISHED: 08:30 22 February 2017 | UPDATED: 08:51 22 February 2017
A mum battling cancer and her eight-year-old daughter who has survived the disease after being diagnosed as a toddler will officially open Cancer Research UK's biggest superstore nationwide in Stevenage next week.
Mum-of-three Kelly Richardson and her youngest child, Lily Beecham, live in Stevenage and will be VIP guests at the 8,000 sq ft store at Oaklands Retail Park on London Road next Thursday.
Kelly, 34, was diagnosed with a rare form of blood cancer called myelofibrosis after regular tests she has for another medical condition picked up an abnormality.
She learned she had cancer after helping her daughter, Lily, through a two-year battle with acute lymphoblastic leukaemia, which was diagnosed when she was just two years old.
Kelly is now having her blood levels regularly monitored by doctors, and will have to receive chemotherapy before a bone marrow transplant from her younger sister later this year.
Kelly, who is also mum to Layla, 16, and Jay, 15, said: “Finding out I had cancer after watching my little girl bravely go through treatment for leukaemia felt like a real kick in the guts to me.
“I still cannot believe it and I try not to dwell on what is coming because I have three children to take care of and worry about, not just my health.”
Lily – who is a pupil at Woolgrove School in Letchworth - was rushed to hospital in 2010 suffering a temperature that would not come down, as well as mysterious bruises on her legs.
She spent the next two years in and out of hospital, receiving chemotherapy.
Kelly said: “I am so proud of her and how she came through such a traumatic experience. Whenever I allow myself to think of my cancer I think of Lily and I know that if she can come through this then so can I.”
Cancer Research UK’s superstore in Stevenage will be the charity’s first store with a furniture focus, as well as stocking everything from clothing to home accessories.
There will also be an information room and hotline, enabling customers to have direct phone access to cancer information from a team of dedicated nurses at Cancer Research UK.
Simon Ledsham, director of trading for the charity, said: “We thought Stevenage, being alongside other discount stores, was a great location for our biggest superstore yet and we are thrilled to be adding our own discount offering to the mix.”
The shop will be open from 9.30am to 6pm Monday to Saturday and 10am to 4pm on Sundays.