In June 2013 11 year old Erin Bates was diagnosed with a high grade glioma in the ventricles deep in her brain. She underwent an operation to relieve the pressure build up that this caused but doctors were unable to remove the tumour due to its location.
Radiotherapy and chemotherapy followed and after the courses of treatment were finished she had a scan in March 2014 which looked positive and there was a hope that the treatment was working. However in June 2014 she started developing symptoms again and a planned MRI scan was brought forward to investigate. The results were devastating, the tumour had grown quickly and the family were told that it was now terminal and that any further treatment would be ineffective.
Within a week Erin had deteriorated quickly and four days later, died at home with her family on 15/7/14.
Erin was a popular girl with lots of friends and a keen footballer with Washington AFC. Her strong will and determination during her illness touched the hearts of many and she had a smile that could brighten any room.
In 2013, during her illness, Durham County FA held a charity event in her name. ‘Erin’s Marathon Match’ raised more than £5000 for the Teenage Cancer Trust and now will be held as an annual event in her honour.
Following her passing, fundraising continued and Erin’s funeral alone raised over £1300 for the Great North Children’s Hospital Children’s Cancer Fund and Clic Sargent.
Washington AFC, in conjunction with Durham County FA, hosted Erin’s Marathon Match 2014 and just under £8000 was raised and donated equally between The Teenage Cancer Trust and the RVI’s Children’s Cancer Fund.
Erin’s family want to continue fundraising and have set up a charity ‘Inspired by Erin’ to provide a pathway in to sport and physical activity for children and young people who have received treatment for cancer.