Cancer Research Wales Fundraisers
1666. Holly Walker
1667. Emily Walker
Holly and Emily Walker, aged 12 and 14, from Monmouthshire, have fundraised over £150,000 for Cancer Research Wales and to pay for a research scholarship at Cardiff University in memory of their brother, Tom, who died aged 13 in 2018 of myeloid leukaemia.
The sisters wanted to target their fundraising activity, which has included challenges and events such as a sponsored swim, to study the condition Tom had and help drive forward the search for a cure. The first recipient of the scholarship, which is named after Tom, has started their PhD at Cardiff University and the sisters plan to continue fundraising for more research through a second scholarship.
In a personal letter to Holly and Emily, Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:
“I was inspired to learn of how much you have achieved with ‘Swim for Tom’ over the last two years. You have raised a staggering £150,000 to fund vital research at Cardiff University, alongside wider support for ‘Cancer Research Wales’.
“The ‘Tom Walker PhD Scholarship’ means that Tom’s name will live on through the research you are funding and become a symbol of hope for others living with myeloid leukaemia. This is a wonderful tribute to your brother.”
Holly and Emily said:
“We are delighted and honoured to be recognised by the Prime Minister and to receive this Point of Light award. Our thirteen year old brother Tom was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia on June 13th 2018. He died the following day after failing to recover from the operation he needed to start his treatment. Since losing Tom we have been raising money to fund research with ‘Cancer Research Wales’, including swimathons and music events. As a result, the first Tom Walker PhD Scholarship was awarded to Theo Morin at Cardiff University in January 2021. Theo is looking into a potential treatment for leukaemia. We are currently £68,000 towards funding a second scholarship. We could not have achieved what we have without the incredible support of the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools and our local community in Monmouthshire. Thank you to everyone who has supported our fundraising.”
David Davies, Holly and Emily’s local MP for Monmouth, said:
“What a wonderful heart-warming story; Holly and Emily are an inspiration to us all. They have shown incredible resilience and courage since the sad passing of their brother Tom and what they have achieved is a fitting tribute to his memory.”
“They galvanised an entire community to take part in their fundraising efforts and I am absolutely thrilled they have been named Points of Light by the Prime Minister.”
“I very much look forward to meeting these remarkable sisters and presenting them with their award in the near future.”
Pictured above: Holly and Emily with their brother Tom