Paralympic star Hannah Cockroft to celebrate with children beating cancer

Paralympic star Hannah Cockroft Photo:

Children and young people with cancer at Leeds St. James' University Hospital will be joined by a special guest when they reach the end of their treatment today.

CLIC Sargent, a cancer charity for children, has invited Team GB's double Paralympic gold medallist Hannah Cockroft to pay the patients a visit. She will meet the youngsters at the hospital's 'End of Treatment Day' to share her memories from her most memorable summer.

Cockroft, 20, was told she would not live past her teenage years after suffering two cardiac arrests at birth, but she went on to win Gold in both the T34 100m and 200m events at London 2012.

Cockroft, who is from Halifax but now lives in Leeds, said: "I have been through a lot in my life, but the last few years have been amazing - last summer obviously being the highlight. Hopefully by speaking to the children about my life I can help encourage them to believe that anything is possible with hard work and self-belief.

"I know how much support CLIC Sargent gives families affected by childhood cancer across the UK."

There are around 100 children and young people diagnosed with cancer each year at Leeds General Infirmary. Families are supported by social workers funded by CLIC Sargent and other staff supported by Leeds-based charity Candlelighters, working alongside the team from the Leeds Teaching Hospitals Trust.

Rachel Hollis, Lead Nurse for Children's Cancer, said: "This is the first year we've organised an 'End of Treatment Day' and we're delighted that someone of Hannah's calibre has decided to come along to support it.

"Of course the end of treatment does not mean the end of the cancer journey for these children and young people, but it is a time for reflection and is certainly worth celebrating. We are all looking forward to the day and we hope the patients and their families enjoy meeting and speaking with such an inspirational person as Hannah."