A 12-year-old girl who is set to complete a year-long run to raise money for a prostate cancer charity has echoed her grandfather’s motto of “never give up, never give in”.
Emily Talman, from the Wirral, Cheshire, decided to run three kilometres every day for a year to raise funds for Prostate Cancer UK in honour of her grandad Pete, who has recovered from the illness.
Emily started running on November 8, 2021 and hopes to have raised £6,000 for the charity when she completes her challenge exactly a year to the day on Tuesday.
Emily told the PA news agency: “My Grandad has always told me ‘never give up, never give in’ and that’s what I’ve told myself during my challenge.”
Pete Talman, 69, was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2019 but has since recovered after a successful surgery to remove his prostate in July, 2020.
Emily, who has three siblings, said she is the “luckiest girl in the world” to still have her grandad in her life and said watching the Pride of Britain on TV first inspired her to start fundraising.
“I remember watching the Pride of Britain Awards last year, when my grandad was better, and I just wanted to do something to help other families who are going through what we did,” Emily said.
“I feel like the luckiest girl in the world to still have him in my life.”
During her challenge, Emily has had to face all weather conditions but said she thinks about the families who have lost their loved ones to cancer which motivates her to keep going.
Emily said: “I just always think of the people whose lives are in danger.
“I think about the people who can’t be with their grandad, dad, uncle, or brother because of prostate cancer.”
Emily, who is a huge Liverpool fan, is also a keen footballer herself and plays for Rainbows Girls JFC on a Saturday and the Girls Can Play Academy on a Sunday.
Earlier this year, Emily attended the Reds’ successful two cup finals at the Wembley Stadium in London, and made sure to complete her runs before kick-off.
The young footballer, whose favourite Liverpool player is Virgil van Dijk, wore the shirt of the club’s arch rival, Everton, to help raise even more funds for her campaign.
Emily’s parents Riky Talman and Stacey Williams said they are “so proud” of their daughter who made time on Christmas day and her 12th birthday on August 15 to complete her runs.
MrTalman told PA: “It’s a tough challenge but she’s just been a warrior and everyone in the family is so proud of her.
“There’s been a lot of challenges for us as a family with (Pete’s) cancer diagnosis.
“Emily’s grandad’s cancer diagnosis was a strange time for all of us as it was such a shock and he had his surgery during the Covid lockdown which was hard for us because we weren’t allowed to see him.
“We’re just extremely proud of Emily for raising awareness because this is a disease that affects 1 in 8 men in the UK.”
Emily has already raised over £4,000 towards her total and her family have planned a gathering to announce her final fundraising total and celebrate her big achievement when she completes her challenge on Tuesday.
Nicola Tallett, Director of Fundraising & Supporter Engagement at Prostate Cancer UK, said the charity is “thrilled and incredibly grateful” and added that the young runner is “an inspiration to us all”.
Ms Tallett said: “It’s fantastic that Emily has pulled on her trainers and got on the front foot to make this happen. We all salute her.
“Emily’s an inspiration to us all. We thank her for her incredible support and wish her every success in the final few days.”
Emily said she plans to “have a little break from running” when her challenge is finished but hopes to complete 100 more days every year in the future to keep spreading awareness of prostate cancer.
To donate to Emily’s fundraiser visit: www.justgiving.com/fundraising/emily-talman
For more information about prostate cancer including an 30-second online risk checker, visit prostatecanceruk.org