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Leeds Rhinos champion Lymphoma Action charity on Monday Night Netball

Leeds Rhinos Netball players will be fundraising for the Lymphoma Action charity at this Monday’s Vitality Netball Superleague game in support of Ellie Birkinshaw, who was diagnosed with Hodgkin Lymphoma this year, and is the daughter of the club’s assistant coach Maggie Birkinshaw.

After hearing the news about Ellie, who is 25 years-old, the players decided they would like to do something to raise money for the charity and help raise awareness of the disease and show their public support for the family.

Leeds Rhinos Netball player Rhea Dixon explained why the players had approached the club to ask about making Monday’s game a fundraising event.

“We just wanted to do something to support and recognise Ellie who is currently going through her treatment Hodgkin Lymphoma,” she said. “Maggie does so much for us and Ellie is so supportive too, so we thought we would do a little charity game for the Lymphoma Action charity.

“We will be doing a collection at our match and we will have a fun game where people can test their shooting skills to help us raise some money. We will also be wearing Lymphoma Action t-shirts in the warm up and purple ribbons in our hair, which is the colour of the charity.

“Maggie is well loved in the netball world, not just in Yorkshire but throughout the game, and we know the netball family will be right behind her and her daughter during this tough time.”

Lymphoma Action is the only charity in the UK dedicated to lymphoma, which is the fifth most common cancer. For over 35 years the charity has provided trusted information and support for people affected by lymphoma.

Every 27 minutes someone is diagnosed with lymphoma and in the UK, 53 people a day receive a lymphoma diagnosis making it the most common blood cancer. It is most the most common cancer in 16-25-year olds and around 1 in 10 cancers diagnosed in children are lymphomas.

Speaking about the charity dedicated game, Maggie said: “I am absolutely blown away with the love and support that has been shown for myself and my daughter. The news that the girls want to do something to raise money and awareness for a charity that is so close to my heart is very humbling and I am hugely grateful.

“My daughter was diagnosed with Lymphoma in February and she is part way through her six months of chemotherapy. She is super positive and a big inspiration to us. She has rough days, which is to be expected, but she is strong and she is truly thankful for what the team are doing. She was overwhelmed when I told her what the players had decided to do and she is just disappointed that she can’t be there as she has no immunity, but I know she sends her heartfelt thanks.

“Hopefully we can raise some money for the charity as well as awareness to highlight the disease so that more research can be done. You don’t realise until you go through something like this how much advice and support there is out there and the great work these charities do.

“Not only have the players and staff been fantastic but everyone at the club too. People like Gary Hetherington, Dan Busfield and Rob Oates all took time to speak to me and offer their support and that means so much to me.”

To find out more information about how you can support Leeds Rhinos Netball’s fundraising for Lymphoma Action contact rhinosnetball@therhinos.co.uk or CLICK HERE. 

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