The Wanted’s Nathan Sykes has said his little cousin’s battle with cancer inspired him to write a children’s story to raise funds for the fight against the disease.
The singer is one of several celebrities, including actor David Harewood and actress Hermione Norris, who have penned short stories and poems for a book being released by Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens.
The Little Book Of Big Heroes includes stories of heroism and bravery, to reflect the strength that children are forced to display when faced with a cancer diagnosis.
Nathan, 23, said: “I’ve talked before about my incredible little cousin Jessica and her fight against cancer so I didn’t hesitate when Cancer Research UK asked me to be involved with this campaign.
“Jess and her sister Isabelle were definitely the inspiration behind Rainbow’s End.
“I hope everyone enjoys reading the story!”
The book, aimed at seven to 11-year-olds, is being released for World Book Day today and includes contributions from boyband The Vamps, the author of The Unmumsy Mum blog, actress Charlotte Ritchie, soap star Matthew Wolfenden and actress Fay Ripley.
Fay said: “As I turned off their light my kids always used to shout ‘one more story, mum’.
“So I’d tell them about Bogey Boy. The unlikely superhero who didn’t have many friends and felt invisible but who did have a very, very, runny nose.
“In fact he was far from invisible. He was a real life superhero. My kids are growing up now but it is a pleasure to pass on one of these stories to such a great cause.
“I hope it makes people laugh and perhaps notice one of the many real life heroes that are all around us.”
Each year, around 4,200 young people are diagnosed with cancer in the UK.
Emma Smith, science communications manager at Cancer Research UK, said: “The good news is that today, more of them are surviving than ever before, and Cancer Research UK’s work has been at the heart of this progress.
“But there are still around 540 cancer deaths in young people each year, and research is the key to changing this.
“We hope everyone enjoys reading The Little Book Of Big Heroes and donates so that we can continue our work to beat children’s cancers sooner.”
The book is available to download on Cancer Research UK Kids & Teens’ website. Any donations received will go towards vital research to find new and kinder treatments for young people facing cancer.
Call The Midwife’s Charlotte Ritchie will read a special bedtime story on Cancer Research UK’s Facebook page at 7pm on March 2.