A TEENAGER who lost a friend to a brain tumour has launched a £1million appeal to help find a cure for childhood cancer.

Lillie Cotgrove, 14, raised £300,000 in a matter of weeks as part of the One Pound Warriors campaign so her classmate could take part in a clinical trial in the US.

However, Lillie’s friend - who had been diagnosed in September last year with the deadliest type of childhood cancer - died in February before she could access treatment.

Now Lillie is working with the Brain Tumour Research to launch an appeal to fund research into effective treatments.

Lillie said: “I am so proud of what One Pound Warriors has achieved already and the amazing community spirit among its members and I know we can do even more together.

“I want to thank all of the One Pound Warriors from the bottom of my heart for everything we have achieved together and I want to say a big thank you to Rachel Riley for her amazing support when One Pound Warriors was launched as well as now. It means so much to me.

The Benfleet teen came up with the One Pound Warriors Facebook fundraising group as part of a Dragon’s Den-style competition at Eastwood Academy.

At the time she was 13, too young to have her own Facebook account, but her mum Sarah helped her, and the idea harnessed the power of social media by inviting people to join the group and donate £1.

The story went viral and celebrities including former Southend High School pupil Rachel Riley joined the campaign.

In a personal message to Lillie, Rachel said: “In January I remember being touched and amazed by what you were doing with the One Pound Warriors. I wish you all the very best and have no doubt that with your determination and the dedication of your One Pound Warriors, you will achieve your goal. Sending lots of love to you and my fellow Southenders.”

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