Three year old Ellie-Mae McConnell and her brother Adrian 15 from Ballymena are joining forces with Cancer Research UK and Channel 4 to launch Stand Up To Cancer, their dynamic fundraising campaign.
And, journeying in from the Galactic Empire, Darth Vader has come across to the good side to help the local children in the battle against cancer.
Ellie and Adrian know from personal experience the devastation a cancer diagnosis can have on a family, as sadly their Dad, Peter McConnell died in January of this year.
Peter had been fighting testicular cancer when he lost his battle at age just 42.
So dressed in a campaign T-shirt they are urging men, women and children in the region to make a stand against this devastating disease by raising funds for vital research.
Stand Up To Cancer is launching right now and will build over the next few months as more and more people join the fight.
It will culminate in a live TV fundraiser on Friday 17 October as an army of millions tune in for a night of live TV on Channel 4 hosted by Davina McCall, Alan Carr and Dr Christian Jessen.
Every hour someone in Northern Ireland is diagnosed with cancer.
By joining Stand Up To Cancer, supporters in County Antrim will be uniting with doctors, nurses, scientists and celebrities to generate funds, raise awareness and bring forward the day when all cancers are cured.
There are many ways to get involved including buying stylish Stand Up To Cancer goods online or getting together with friends, family and colleagues to come up with a bright idea to raise money.
Speaking at the launch, Mum Kelly said, “Peter was such a big part of our family, the love of my life and the children were Peter’s life. He was a proud dad. I have to stay strong for the children but remembering my husband’s strength is all I need to keep me going.
“Research has made great progress over the years, but sadly, as we have experienced, not everyone survives.That’s why I am joining the children in asking everyone to Stand Up To Cancer right now.
“We need to fight back by raising money so that brilliant research can be translated into treatments which will help more families stay together.”
Jean Walsh, Cancer Research UK spokesperson for Northern Ireland said, “There are over 200 different forms of the disease and Cancer Research UK is the only charity researching all 200.
“We spend over £2 million each year in Northern Ireland and are determined that the research we fund will help save more lives through developing better, kinder treatments which will help cure cancer faster.”
You can show your support for the campaign in style as a fun and fashionable range of clothing and accessories for men, women, children and dogs is available online now at www.standuptocancer.org.uk and from September in Cancer Research UK shops.
It includes T-shirts (from £10) onesies in sizes for adults (£25) and children (£15) watches in bold bright colours (£5.99), pin badges (£1), travel mugs (£4.99), snapback caps (£8) festival wristbands (99p); and, for man’s best friend, a must-have dog T-shirt with the words ‘Sit, Stay and Stand Up To Cancer’ (£8).
There are lots of ways to get involved in Stand Up To Cancer. Supporters can sign up for a free fundraising kit now for more ideas and tools on how to Stand Up and do something epic at work, school or home at www.standuptocancer.org.uk