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Fundraising at Morrisons Dover for what would be teenage cancer victim Kelly Turner’s 21st birthday

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A couple who lost their daughter to a rare cancer are spearheading fundraising for what would be her 21st birthday.

Now Martin and Linda Turner, of Dover, are backed by the town’s Morrisons store, which is dedicating a full week to raise money from today (Monday).

Kelly and her dad Martin, April 2017. Picture:Kelly Turner Foundation
Kelly and her dad Martin, April 2017. Picture:Kelly Turner Foundation

Kelly had a type of cancer that usually affects teenagers and the couple are now trying to save other young lives.

Mr Turner said: “Our Kelly would have been 21years old on March 24 but sadly passed away at 17 due to a cancer that has no targeted chemotherapy or cure.”

This was Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumours, which strikes 20 or so teenagers worldwide annually.

Morrisions is holding the fundraising for seven days until Sunday. Mr and Mrs Turner have brought collection buckets and tins to the store.

The teenager’s artwork will be sold as cards along with wristbands with the hashtag #doingitforkelly

This was the slogan for the massive local fundraising campaign for her in her last 18 months to pay £1 million for specialist treatment in New York.

Linda, Martin and Kelly, October 2016. Picture:Tony Flashman
Linda, Martin and Kelly, October 2016. Picture:Tony Flashman

The communities of Dover, plus Deal and Sandwich, rallied round her with fundraising events held for her every week.

Money also poured in through instant donations with shops, banks and other businesses providing collection tins.

Kelly’s plight attracted the attention of celebrities too.

Hollywood star James McAvoy gave £50,000 to her appeal in February 2017 after he met her at Royal Marsden Hospital in London where she had regular treatment.

Others backing her included singer Bryan Adams and Ricky Wilson of the Kaiser Chiefs.

Kelly, after a round of chemotherapy, with singer Ricky Wilson, November 2016. Picture: Kelly Turner Foundation
Kelly, after a round of chemotherapy, with singer Ricky Wilson, November 2016. Picture: Kelly Turner Foundation

The Dover and East Kent Mercury newspapers, with Kent Online, backed the campaign with weekly publicity, particularly advertising fundraising events,

But Kelly could not be saved and finally succumbed to the disease on November 6, 2017.

Just over £500,000 had been raised in her lifetime and the money was transferred to pay for research into chemotherapy for DSRCT to help other sufferers.

Fundraising has continued ever since and by last Thursday £638,907 was raised out of a £1 million target

The money is being handled through the Kelly Turner Foundation, set up after her death and the money goes to the Institute of Cancer Research.

Linda and Martin Turner, autumn 2018, nearing the first anniversary of Kelly's death. Picture:Sam Lennon
Linda and Martin Turner, autumn 2018, nearing the first anniversary of Kelly’s death. Picture:Sam Lennon

Kelly attended Charlton Primary School and St Edmund’s RC School in Dover and joined the sixth form at the town’s Astor College for the Arts in September 2017.

She had been diagnosed with her illness in October 2015.

She had to endure 28 rounds of sarcoma chemotherapy but that only slowed down the growth of the tumours,

Kelly fell a year behind in her schooling because of her condition but caught up and in summer 2017 achieved 10 GCSE passes.

You can donate to the Kelly Turner Foundation online through the JustGiving page here.

Read more: All the latest news from Deal

Read more: All the latest news from Dover

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Deal Dover Sandwich Sam Lennon





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