An inspirational little girl from Padiham, whose battle against cancer has touched the hearts of thousands of people all over the world, has a starring role in a fundraising film about the hospital where she is being treated.
Tia Taggart is among seven people appearing in a fundraising film for the Royal Manchester Children's Hospital charity.
Created by the Liverpool video agency, Zut, the moving film gives each patient the chance to share their own personal stories about their time spent at the hospital.
Tia, who is a pupil at St John's RC Primary School in Padiham, has been treated on-and-off on ward 84, the oncology and haematology ward at the hospital since she was first diagnosed with an aggressive form of cancer called Ewing Sarcoma
She has undergone chemotherapy for tumours in her pelvis and legs as well as rounds of radiotherapy to treat her bone and lung cancers.
Despite everything Tia has been through she is always determined to help others, and is a loyal fundraiser for the hospital’s charity raising thousands through her unique Jet Set Angels scheme which started off as a classroom project launched by Tia's teacher Mrs Carol Carlile.
Children and staff started off making the tiny angels from beads and buttons and, as their popularity gained wings, more people bought them and they have been pictured at locations across the globe including America, Australia, Thailand and even a Norwegian ice station in Antartica.
A series of celebrities, sporting stars and even members of the Royal Family have given their support to the project that has raised a staggering £10,000 with 13,000 angels flying around the world from the classroom in Padiham.
Tia's proud dad, Lee, said: "For someone so young, Tia has been through so much but is always determined to help others going through a similar situation. She’s really passionate about fundraising for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital so when the charity team asked if she would like to be in the film she didn’t hesitate to say yes.
“Many people don’t realise just how big the hospital is and how many patients it treats until their child is ill and they need to go there.
"We can’t thank the hospital enough for everything they’ve done for Tia, so helping out with this film and creating awareness for the charity was
our way of being able to show our thanks.
"All the children in the film are incredibly brave – it’s humbling to watch and hopefully will encourage others to show their support.”
As well as showcasing the state-of- the-art facilities and the world class care patients receive, the film also shows the sheer scale of the hospital as it is the largest single-site hospital in the UK.
The hospital’s charity raises valuable funds which go towards three main areas – treatment, research and care - to ensure the young children at the hospital can continue to receive the highest quality treatment in the highest quality facilities.
Sarah Naismith, Head of Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “We were blown away when we watched the film for the first time. Tia and all the patients are just so inspiring and it is incredibly moving to hear the stories told through their own words.
"We are really grateful to the children for sharing their stories with us and for fundraising for the hospital which provides their care. Between them they have raised thousands which is really helping to make a difference.
"We hope the film will strike a cord with all who watch it and inspire families, groups and individual fundraisers to support our charity’s mission to make a
difference for every child, every day.”