VIDEO: Luffa pupils back Mel's sarcoma campaign

Bishop Luffa students have begun their mega team triathlon inspired by Mel de Lacy.

Since launching last week, more than 70 pupils from Bishop King house have already signed up to running, cycling, walking (and anything else active).

Mel de Lacy (front) next to Kate Rowbotham and Joe Clines, both 14, who are behind the school's efforts, along with fellow students and teachers taking part.

Mel de Lacy (front) next to Kate Rowbotham and Joe Clines, both 14, who are behind the school's efforts, along with fellow students and teachers taking part.

They are doing it for Sarcoma UK, an uncommon form of cancer that Chichester mum-of-two Mel has.

Luffa students Joe Clines, Kate Rowbotham and Anna Broom, all 14, are behind the school’s effort to join Mel’s big fundraising and awareness drive.

Kate’s mum works with physio Mel at Spire Hospital in Portsmouth, and when she heard about Mel’s #LetMeBeMe campaign she decided she wanted to help.

Kate said: "It was not only reading her story but how other people were responding to it.

"When you see a family member respond as this is not only a person but this is a friend, a colleague, someone who's very close, you realise this can happen to anybody, and not just a complete stranger on TV."

Mel's condition is terminal but she is determined to use her time left in a positive way to try to help others.

Her cancer wasn't found when she had a hysterectomy eight years ago and cancerous fibroids went unnoticed, eventually spreading to her lungs.

As well as her appeal so far raising £38,000 for Sarcoma UK, she is also battling for more thorough checks for this difficult to detect bone and soft tissue cancer which could have led to a different outcome for her.

She said: "I'm very proud of what these guys are doing and what's important is they understand my Let Me Be Me message that I've promoted since my cancer diagnosis.

"I've chosen to embrace what I have by being positive, keeping fit and not being negative and giving up and that's a message I hope these children will take forward."

School friends Jake Farquhar and Liam Holcroft, both 14, have already completed a 30-mile bike ride up the Trundle, and over the next five weeks each individual effort will be tallied up to see how far the students, as a team, have got around the globe.

Some team events are planned, while Chichester ParkRun is helping the children take part in their free weekend runs, and swimmer Joe is totting up his miles in the pool.

Joe said: "It's really all about doing whatever you can and being as active as you can. We know how active Mel is so it's about getting people active and doing something fun as a team."

A huge amount of fundraisers have already taken place for Mel's campaign, with plenty more planned.

Read Mel's story here: https://www.chichester.co.uk/news/health/chichester-mum-vows-to-use-time-left-to-help-others-1-8303819
More about sarcoma here: https://sarcoma.org.uk/