TODAY The Sun on Sunday launches its nationwide Christmas card competition to give children with cancer a special festive treat.
Our Christmas Cards For Kids campaign — in conjunction with The Entertainer — will mean seriously ill youngsters who face being in hospital on December 25 will get a gift and a visit from Santa this year, thanks to YOUR generosity.
Little Lana Nixon, seven, from Tyne and Wear, has spent the past four Christmases either in hospital or receiving treatment for a rare form of brain cancer.
But this year, she cannot wait to be in her school’s Nativity play for the first time.
Lana is just one of the thousands of children and young people diagnosed with cancer every year in the UK, who spend weeks, months or even years in hospital.
The charity Children With Cancer UK helps them and their families while also raising money for research.
And that is why we are asking you to help them bring a smile to the faces of sick kids this year.
With only 100 sleeps until the big day, we want your child to draw or paint a special picture featuring their favourite festive image.
Winners will be chosen from three categories: Under fives; ages six to ten; and ages 11 to 16.
The three winning artworks — by budding Banksys or mini Monets — will go on sale as Christmas cards in The Entertainer stores and also online.
Then we need you, our army of big-hearted readers, to go out and buy those cards to raise funds so that toys can be distributed to youngsters with our charity partner Children With Cancer UK.
Lana’s mum Gemma, 37, says: “Lana was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour known as an ATRT — a fast-growing cancer of the brain and spinal cord — in November 2018 when she was just two. Doctors gave her a five per cent chance of survival.
“After surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy, she relapsed again at Christmas 2020 and we were told her cancer was back.
“She had more surgery in January 2021 and more rounds of chemotherapy and radiotherapy.
“She was diagnosed with epilepsy last Christmas as a result of the treatment, so we’ve not had a normal Christmas since she was two.
“This campaign is magical. Lana can’t wait to enter so she can help other children, and her brother Jonah, 11, will enter too.”
Gemma said not having your child at home for Christmas due to an illness such as cancer is a harrowing and worrying ordeal.
She added: “It’s terrifying not knowing whether they’ll survive another year.
“That’s why this campaign is so lovely. It will give a special Christmas to families and children who need some normality more than anything.”
Jo Elvin, chief executive of Children with Cancer UK, said: “I am so grateful that The Sun on Sunday and The Entertainer are supporting children and teenagers who are facing cancer this Christmas.
“At what can be a particularly difficult time of year, Santa will give presents to children and teens who may not be able to make it home for Christmas.
“I encourage all budding artists to take part and I’m really looking forward to seeing the winning cards on sale at The Entertainer.”
The competition will be judged by a panel led by The One Show star and former CBBC host Angellica Bell.
Mum-of-two Angellica said: “I’m absolutely delighted to be involved with the Sun on Sunday’s Christmas Cards For Kids campaign.
“I still have dozens of drawings that children made for me when I was on CBBC. I’ll keep them for ever.
“All the wonderful artwork I was sent was one of the highlights of working in children’s television.
“I was always so touched they had taken the time to create these wonderful pictures and send them in to us.
“Children’s artwork is always so special, and I am incredibly excited to see all the wonderful Christmas creations that will be produced for this competition.”
Imogen Turner, ten, and her five-year-old sister Elodie, from Warwickshire, were among the first to enter our contest.
Mum Rebecca said: “The girls are really excited to enter the competition and they’ve loved getting their ideas down on paper.
“It’s so exciting that their drawings could appear in the shops, and even better to know they are supporting a great cause.”
A spokesman for The Entertainer, where you will be able to stock up on the winning Christmas cards, said: “We believe that the wonder of childhood is a right, not a privilege.
“And we know that this campaign is going to make a huge difference.”
HOW TO ENTER
EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org with the heading CHRISTMAS, including a photo of your child’s drawing, before Sunday, October 1.
Make sure the image is well lit and include your name, along with your child’s name, their age, address and a phone number.
Include a few words about why they entered.
The original design MUST be on A4 paper, either landscape or portrait.
Keep it safe in case it is one of the winners and needs to be scanned for use.
Source of data and images: thesun