Event fundraising

Margate Karate Academy event raises £3,000 for Aurora Pile-Gray of Garlinge memorial fund – The Isle Of Thanet News

Aurora has touched the hearts of the Thanet community

Students from Margate Karate Academy, along with other members of the karate community, came together to participate in the “Aurora Open” in memory of young student Aurora Pile-Gray.

Friends, family and fellow karate students helped raise over £3,000 for Young Lives vs Cancer, the UK’s leading cancer charity for children and young people, who supported Aurora’s family after she has been diagnosed with cancer.

Aurora, who lived in Garlinge and attended school in Westgate-on-Sea, was diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma, a cancer that affects the blood and bone marrow, in May 2020 aged just eight. After months of treatment, Aurora breathed her last at home, surrounded by her family, on June 29, 2021, just days before her tenth birthday.

Gary Adams, Aurora’s Karate Sensei at Margate Academy, wanted to do something in her memory. So he decided a tournament would be a fitting tribute to remember his former student and raise money for the charity that has supported the family throughout.

The “Aurora Open Championships” took place on Saturday, July 9, just two days after what would have been Aurora’s 11th birthday.

Gary (pictured with one of the young winners) said: “Since Aurora first fell ill, the entire karate community from near and far has been behind her. Many never had it met, but Aurora had this way of making everyone feel like they knew her, she brought communities together and continues to do so now even after she’s sadly no longer with us.

“This competition was Karate’s way of saying ‘we will never forget you’ and also an opportunity to help other children and families. I want to personally thank everyone who sponsored this competition, participated, helped run or supported in any way, you made a huge difference and you have my respect and friendship for life. Margate Karate Academy will never forget one of its own.

Last year in Kent, Young Lives vs Cancer helped 134 families find the strength to face cancer. They have distributed 112 financial grants worth £23,820 to help families with the costs of cancer. The charity’s Cancer Costs report found families with a child on active treatment spend an extra £600 a month.

Alex Drury, Senior Young Lives vs Cancer Fundraising Engagement Manager for Kent, said: “We have been completely overwhelmed with the support for the charity in Aurora’s memory.

“When cancer strikes young lives, we step in to help families find the strength to face whatever cancer throws at them. We rely entirely on donations to fund our vital work so we can’t thank Gary from Margate Karate Academy enough for his fantastic efforts and to everyone who attended and donated we will be able to help even more young people and their families, like Aurore’s.

Aurora, with mom Keisha, when she was receiving treatment

A fund has been established in Aurora’s name, to help support other young cancer patients and their families during their most difficult times.

To donate to the Aurora Fund, visit: https://funds.younglivesvscancer.org.uk/TheAuroraFund

For more information on the work of Young Lives vs Cancer, go to www.younglivesvscancer.org.uk