Queen’s Park school students and staff running a virtual mission to Singapore for leukaemia-stricken pupil
- Credit: Archant
Sixth Form pupils at a Queen’s Park school are running a virtual race to Singapore to raise funds for a friend who is battling cancer.
Queens Park Community School (QPCS) is the starting point to run or walk 10,866 km (6,753 miles) to National University Hospital in Singapore (NUH), one of only three hospitals in the world where the revolutionary CAR T-Cell therapy is available.
Kiran Talluri, a Sixth Former at the school in Aylestone Avenue, was diagnosed with a very aggressive form of leukaemia (T-ALL) in January when he was 15.
In one week, the 16-year-old has raised a staggering £470,150 of a £500,000 target, which will enable him to access the trial treatment in Asia.
School friends, staff, pupils and parents have rallied behind the teenager with fundraising goals including a bake sale, a planned car wash and the multi-mile Virtual Mission to NUH.
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Judith Enright, headteacher, said: “QPCS are trying to raise money for Kiran. He needs to get to Singapore for lifesaving treatment for leukaemia so we set ourselves a challenge to run or walk 10,868 km, which is the distance from here to the hospital in Singapore where he needs to get to.
“We are currently in the English Channel but today, we have his Year 12 group trying to get sponsored to raise additional money for him.”
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Volleyball team friend Charlie Falkoner, 16, will host a socially-distanced Fun Run in Gladstone Park when the lockdown rules are relaxed, which members of the wider community can join.
“I’m good friends with Kiran and think it would be a good thing to do,” he said. “Kiran’s great, he is the missing part of the volleyball team. It was a shock when he had to leave in January. Hopefully we can raise money and get him the lifesaving surgery he needs so he can come back soon.
“It’s great all this community support for my friend, it’s such a nice feeling. Hopefully we can raise more money.”
Will Mackenzie added: “He’s in our form. We really hope he can get to Singapore. We wish all the best to his family and really hope he can do well with his treatment so he can live well and love his life as long as we do.
“He’s a lovely guy and deserves to have the best future.”
Harry Clark, 17, who ran a 2km circuit with his classmates on Wednesday (November 25), added: “We’re doing it to support him to get to his goal.”
Sahara Fagan-Michaelson and Maki Gallagher raised £25 by holding a bake sale with 40 vegan cookies which “sold out straightaway” - it was so successful, they plan to make a new batch to sell.
Jomana Aly sat next to him in chemistry classes. She said: “I’m really sad, he’s just 16, his life is in our hands.
“He needs a lot of money and not a lot of people have that at the moment.”
She added: “He’s really calm, not a troublemaker. He was really nice when I needed help, he helped me.”
Additionally, pupils in younger years brought in donations.
Despite undergoing intense treatment in the last nine months, including a bone marrow transplant from his nine-year-old sister on September 4, Kiran was told by his doctors on November 6 that the cancer had come back even more aggressively this time, and there is now nothing else they can do.
“I have gone through lots of complications and some of my organs have been damaged but there has always been a relatively good and speedy recovery,” he said previously.
“I have been doing my best to recover from every step, physically and emotionally, but unfortunately the relapse of my cancer wasn’t something that was in our hands.”
The teenager, who has dreams of becoming a games developer and enjoying his adult life, added: “We are still not sure about long-term side effects. But, even if it doesn’t go well, I am still optimistic because I know I will be contributing to science and hopefully this treatment will help cure other patients with T-ALL in the future.”
Ms Enright added: “Thank you from all Kiran’s friends and staff at QPCS to the excellent campaign team, which has raised £470,000 already for his lifesaving treatment in just one week.”
To donate go to www.gofundme.com/f/a-chance-for-kiran
To follow their virtual mission visit: www.myvirtualmission.com/missions/63002/can-qpcs-run-to-singapore-for-kiran