James McAvoy gives £50,000 as Kelly battles for £1m to stay alive

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A cancer stricken teenager who is battling to raise more than a million pounds to stay alive has become the ‘darling’ of the celebs.

James McAvoy recently donated £50,000 to help get her to New York where specialist treatment may save her.

The X-Men star visited Kelly Turner, aged 16, from Dover in Kent, at the Royal Marsden Hospital in Chelsea and they had a chat and shared selfies.

Then, a few days later, a massive donation appeared on her JustGiving page with the message: ‘Great to meet you the other day Kelly. I hope this helps you achieve your goal sooner rather than later. Good luck luv James.’

Thanks to the actor’s donation, the family is almost half-way to their target.

Kelly’s dad Martin said: ‘James decided to come and visit and spent a lot of time talking to Kelly. She managed got selfies with him, so that’s another celebrity she’s met.’

The teenager had also met the Kaiser Chief’s Ricky Wilson who posed for a snap at her bedside.

She’s also visited the Coronation Street studios where she met Simon Gregson who plays Steve McDonald.

Kaiser Chiefs front man Ricky Wilson  called in at the Royal Marsden Hospital and gave Kelly a drum skin signed by himself and his bandmates.

He was a “wonderful chap” said Kelly’s dad: “Ricky came to the Royal Marsden specifically to visit our Kelly. He’s a wonderful chap. We’re so excited to have met him.”

It’s not the first time Kelly has met a rock star. In August, the 16-year-old met Canadian singer Bryan Adams at a concert in Canterbury. He passed a bucket through the crowd, helping raise £10,000 for Kelly’s cancer fund.

And in other positive news the latest rounds of chemotherapy have shrunk and stabilised the tumours, which now gives Kelly the chance to study for her GCSEs in June before surgery.

The surgery for her rare cancer is still needed, however and if her condition worsens again she will abandon her studies and go straight to the States.

She said on the Facebook Kelly Turner Fundraising page: “I’m hoping to do my GCSEs before we go. I’ve been waiting two years and there’s a little more time.

“Luckily, at the moment my tumours are stable and the new chemotherapy has shrunk them a bit and they’re showing less activity, so as long as they are stable we won’t be going until June.

“However, if there is a significant increase of activity or size in the tumours then we will immediately be going.”

Kelly was given two years to live in October 2015 when she was struck with the desmoplastic round cell tumours, a type of sarcoma suffered by only 30 teenagers a year worldwide.

She needs to raise £1 million ($1.2 million) for the full treatment but an initial £400,000-plus for the surgery. It is not available to her on the NHS.

Her studies in St Edmund’s RC School had last year been curtailed by her illness and the constant chemotherapy trips to the Royal Marsden Hospital in Sutton, London.

She had undergone an exhausting nine rounds by last June.

The Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York wants an estimated $500,000 dollars upfront for the surgery and around another $700,000 is needed for follow-up immunotherapy.

The family also have to allow for any extra fees, so they plan to keep pushing on towards reaching the full £1 million.

The funding has been given a further boost by family friend and father-of-four John Ashman, 50, who endured freezing temperatures while sleeping rough on the streets to raise money. He managed to raise £10,000 – doubling his target of £5,000

Martin said: ‘John doesn’t take to compliments well, but as far as we’re concerned he’s a hero.’

Kelly was given an award for her courage at a glittering function held for her on in January. The teenager was presented with a Most Inspirational prize during A Night at the Oscars with Kelly Turner at the Bluebirds Function Rooms in Snargate Street, Dover.

You can give to the Kelly Turner Fundraising account at the NatWest bank in Dover. The sort code is 60-07-04 and the account number is 39767000. You can also donate online at justgiving.com/fundraising/kelly-turner2000


  • This rare cancer is an aggressive tumour that typically begins in the abdomen or pelvis. 
  • This rare type of soft tissue sarcoma generally affects teenagers and young adults, primarily boys.
  • In young women, it’s sometimes mistaken for ovarian cancer. 
  • The prognosis is poor, but patients with inoperable tumours can benefit from low doses of chemo, turning the disease into a chronic illness.

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