Team Emma 2020-21
Team Emma Port Sunlight Run June 14 2020
On Sunday 14 June 2020 Staff and sixth formers should have been running the Port Sunlight 15/10/5K in memory of my beautiful daughter Emma who died of leukaemia in order to remember Emma and raise awareness of the charity Blood Cancer UK (previously Bloodwise) as part of the Emma Mannix tribute fund there.
Over 40 of our staff and even a couple of our students took part again this year. Big shout out to Daisy Tinkler in Year 8! Last year Daisy ran the 1K junior race in her Team Emma T-shirt and this year she cycled nearly 7K for Team Emma.
Despite not being able to run this together we ran, walked and cycled remotely and all the fabulous picture and lovely messages made it feel like a real event. Staff were hiking up hills, teaming up with one other person to socially distance walk, running for the first time in years and event achieving personal bests!! (Well done Mrs McCord!!). Mr Smith even went to Port Sunlight to run the event as if it were for real and did the 15K!! It is so great to see how seriously everyone took this!
Although I didn’t manage the 10K as last year I did the 5K and an extra 1K for Emma. This charity is so close to my heart and although we did not ask for donations due to current circumstances we have already had £725 in donations from staff and their friends and families which means the total that Neston High have raised in memory of Emma is now £6020 in a year.
This means so much to me as keeping Emma’s memory alive is the most important thing to me so her legacy can live on in the work that we do in hope that one day they find a cure for the type of leukaemia she had.
Emma was diagnosed with Pure Erythroid Leukaemia a very rare type of leukaemia on 21 June 2012, at that time only one other baby in the world had been diagnosed with this type of leukaemia which is why we chose Blood Cancer UK as the charity in her memory. One thing I learnt during that time is when it comes to cancer there is never a plan, things constantly change from one moment to the next, the only thing that seems to be in control is the cancer itself. The whole time we were in Alder Hey hospital our consultant had told us about a rare form of leukaemia that could fit Emma’s symptoms but that this was highly unlikely as it was so rare. You literally have more chance of winning the lottery than getting this type of cancer, it is rare in adults, extremely rare in children and beyond rare in babies. When Emma started having tests this we were told it was highly unlikely and was at the bottom of the list of possibilities, you can only imagine the shock when it turned out it was at the top.
Many of the staff at Alder Hey working with Emma had not even heard of this type of leukaemia as it is so rare and had to research it themselves. This also meant there was not a clear treatment plan as a consequence. The disease itself is a very aggressive form of leukaemia and after every round of chemotherapy the cancer came back more quickly than before.
Despite the best efforts of everyone Emma lost her battle with leukaemia aged just 7 months old, this is something we would never want any other family to go through and this is why Blood Cancer UK is such an important charity to us to try and raise money to fund research, particularly for rare diseases and the type of leukaemia that Emma had which was just so cruel.
As devastated as we are by our loss we are determined to keep Emma’s amazing spirit and positivity alive in how we live our lives as a tribute to her and the Team Emma events are a big part of that. We are and always will be so incredibly proud of Emma.
The kindness that has been shown to me by Neston High School staff is incredible and just being able to talk about Emma and share her story means the world. I feel so lucky that I get to work at such a great school.