Teen has colourful way to raise funds

The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald: Elisha Owen organised the event at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy Elisha Owen organised the event at Royal Wootton Bassett Academy

Teenager Elisha Owen convinced Royal Wootton Bassett Academy to ditch its uniforms on Friday to help raise money for a new breast cancer treatment.

The 16-year-old student’s mum, Tracey, was diagnosed with the disease earlier this year as Elisha began her final preparations for the GCSE exams she will take next month.

She said: “It was quite scary when mum was diagnosed and I didn’t really know what to do.

“I was going into lessons and then walking out because I was really upset. It just seemed so surreal. You just don’t think it’s ever going to happen to you.”

When she heard about the Great Western Hospital Trust’s Brighter Futures appeal to bring in a cutting-edge breast cancer treatment she was keen to help.

The intra-operative radiotherapy could cut out the daily journeys to Oxford for radiotherapy for 150 women a year, since treatment is delivered directly to the affected spot while the patient is still in the operating room.

But the hospital needs to raise £75,000 for the equipment, and so Elisha approached deputy headteacher Anita Ellis and asked her if they the school could hold a non-uniform day to help the cause.

Elisha said: “I was overwhelmed when they said we could do it, and when I saw everybody come into school today dressed in pink and yellow.

“I am so grateful for everyone’s support.”

Elisha is not the only student at the academy whose family has been affected by cancer.

Miss Ellis said: “There are a lot of personal family experiences of cancer and everybody has been affected in some way.

“This really has been a student-led initiative and we are making the GWH Breast Cancer appeal one of our local charities for this year.”

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