Show your support for brave Corah, get running

Shadow women and equalities minister Gloria de Piero addresses the Labour Party annual conference in Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 21, 2014. Large firms will be required to publish the average salary of men and women across every level of their organisation as part of Labour efforts to deliver equal pay. See PA story LABOUR Pay. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Shadow women and equalities minister Gloria de Piero addresses the Labour Party annual conference in Manchester. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Picture date: Sunday September 21, 2014. Large firms will be required to publish the average salary of men and women across every level of their organisation as part of Labour efforts to deliver equal pay. See PA story LABOUR Pay. Photo credit should read: Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire

I’m sure everyone in Ashfield has been blown away by the bravery and spirit of 16-year-old Corah-Beth Slaney. I certainly have.

The Kirkby girl has been diagnosed with life-limiting mitochondrial disease and her condition now means she is no longer able to care for herself.

Last week I met Corah and her family at their home, just as plans were being ironed out with the help of the council leader, Chris Baron, to fast-track vital adaptations to the house—including the installation of a wet-room.

The music loving teen seems to have touched the hearts of everyone who has heard her story and she even got the chance to meet pop queen Jessie J recently!

Now her oldest and best friend Kelsey Tomlinson, 16 and her younger sister, Hannah, 12, are busy organising a three-legged race that will start at Ashfield School before travelling all of the way to Orchard Primary where their mum Tanya works as a teaching assistant.

The fun event is set to take place on Friday March 13 at 9am, and pupils at both schools want to raise as much sponsorship money as possible to go towards Corah’s appeal http://www.gofundme.com/SingASong4Corah.

The race will also include a lap around the school field with the juniors, teachers and staff as well as a coffee morning, raffle and crafts. People and events like this are exactly what make Ashfield awesome. Well done girls!

The other day I received a letter from a gentleman in Woodhouse who suffers from prostate cancer. He’s extremely concerned about the decision to withdraw funding for a chemotherapy drug which his consultant described as “the last hope” for his type of cancer.

Fortunately he’ll still be able to access the drug as he’s already received it but he’s worried about what it means for other men who won’t have this benefit.

I’m proud that the Labour Party is firmly committed to tackling the scandal of cancer patients denied lifesaving treatments.

We will create a new annual Cancer Treatments Fund to improve access—not just to the latest drugs but also to the latest forms of radiotherapy and surgery that are too often not available for thousands of people with cancer.

Early diagnosis is also a critical tool in the fight against this dreadful disease, which is why I’m backing plans that would guarantee that patients will wait no longer than one week for cancer tests and results. Cancer doesn’t wait, so why should you?

Finally, I’m disappointed to see a sharp jump in the number of people signing on at the Job Centre in Ashfield.

It’s worrying to see almost 100 extra people joining the dole queue in just one month and it just goes to show that ministers can’t afford to be complacent in places like ours.

It’s another reason why the Government should introduce Labour’s Compulsory Jobs Guarantee to get people off benefits and into paid work.