A HEALTH worker is hoping to raise hundreds of pounds for charity after her nephew’s friend was diagnosed with a life threatening brain tumour at just 11 months old.
Rachel Wood, from Crookes, will take on a two-week sporting extravaganza to raise vital funds for Sophie’s Wish, an umbrella group which provides valuable support for Brain Tumour Research and other charities.
It was set up by family and friends of two-and-a-half-year-old Sophie Burchill, who is fighting a brave battle against a brain tumour at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.
The 27-year-old will take part in a duathlon on September 11 made up of a 10km run, 20km bike ride and another 5km run, before pounding the streets of Newcastle in the 13-mile BUPA Great North Run a week later.
Rachel, who works with cancer patients in the NHS, wants to help promote awareness of brain tumours to ensure symptoms are picked up early and give anyone diagnosed a better chance of survival.
She said: “I’m raising money for Sophie’s Wish as my eldest nephew, Oscar, is friends with Sophie so I’ve known what her family have been through from the very start.
“It really gives you perspective when you realise it could have easily been one of your own family members going through the same situation.
“As a health professional and an auntie I understand how difficult it can be, particularly with young children, to determine exactly what is wrong with them if they are feeling unwell. I also understand the emotional strain something like this puts on a family.
“The more research that is done to treat brain tumours, the more hope both children and adults have of surviving and living a long and fulfilled life. The longer things are left undiagnosed, the worse the prognosis can get.”
She will taking part with a close friend who has been battling an illness herself over the past year - making it an extra tough challenge.
Visit www.mycharitypage.com/Rachy to sponsor Rachel and visit www.sophieswish.org.uk or www.facebook.com/sophieswish for more information about the charity.