Two inspirational Monmouthshire sisters have today (Thursday 24th June) been recognised for their remarkable fund-raising feats by the Prime Minister.
Holly and Emily Walker, from Devauden, have spearheaded a tremendous community fund-raising campaign which has topped £150,000 for Cancer Research Wales in memory of their brother, Tom.
Now the girls, who are both students at Monmouth School for Girls, have been hailed nationally by being given a UK Point of Light award, which hails outstanding individuals who are making a positive impact in their community.
Points of Light was first established in the USA by President George H. W. Bush in 1990.
The UK Points of Light was developed in partnership with the USA programme and launched in the Cabinet Room at 10 Downing Street in April 2014.
Holly, 15, and Emily, 13, said: “We are delighted and honoured to be recognised by the Prime Minister and to receive this Point of Light award.
“Our 13-year-old brother Tom was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukaemia on June 13th 2018.
“He died the following day after failing to recover from the operation he needed to start his treatment.
“Since losing Tom, we have been raising money to fund research with Cancer Research Wales, including swimathons and music events.”
The girls’ wonderful fund-raising efforts have led to the first research recipient of the Tom Walker PhD Scholarship taking up his post at Cardiff University.
Theo Morin started his PhD in January and the sisters plan to continue raising money for more research into acute myeloid leukaemia through a second scholarship.
“Theo is looking into a potential treatment for leukaemia,” said Holly and Emily.
“We are currently £68,000 towards funding a second scholarship.
“We could not have achieved what we have without the incredible support of the Haberdashers’ Monmouth Schools and our local community in Monmouthshire.
“Thank you to everyone who has supported our fundraising.”
David Davies, Holly and Emily’s local MP for Monmouth, said: “This is a wonderful and heart-warming story; Holly and Emily are an inspiration to us all.
“They have shown incredible resilience and courage since the sad passing of their brother Tom and what they have achieved, is a fitting tribute to his memory.
“They galvanised an entire community to take part in their fundraising efforts and I am absolutely thrilled they have been named Points of Light by the Prime Minister.”
“I very much look forward to meeting these remarkable sisters and presenting them with their award in the near future.”