Friends and family from Wakefield are walking, swimming, cycling and running thousands of miles for a loved one diagnosed with an inoperable brain tumour in Texas.
When Lydia Carfrae, ahed 4, was diagnosed with a highly aggressive brain tumour, friends and family in Wakefield set out to cover the distance between them in the UK and Lydia’s new home in Houston, Texas.
Lydia, who moved to the US three years ago, is facing the devastating disease 4,735 miles away from her family. But despite the distance, Lydia’s family and friends in Wakefield are walking, swimming, cycling and running to virtually support her. Their target is 4,735 miles and they hope to raise £4,735 for the Brain Tumour Research charity by Lydia’s 35th birthday in February.
Rosie Crawford, cousin to Lydia and organiser of the fundraiser, said: “We can’t be there with Lydia in Houston but we will travel the distance, in one way or another, to support her. It started off with just family but as people hear Lydia’s story, they have been moved to get involved too.
“We’ve raised more than £850 and travelled more than 700 miles which is incredible. I’d be so grateful if as many people as possible join us and help us reach our target for Lydia.”
After experiencing numbness in her hands in summer 2018, Lydia was suspected to have multiple sclerosis, a condition which also affects her mum. However, scans revealed a glioblastoma multiforme – one of the most aggressive types of brain tumour – to be the cause. Lydia, who has now lost movement on one side and relies on a wheelchair, is currently undergoing radiotherapy and chemotherapy.
Across the pond, Lydia’s friends in Houston are also fundraising for Brain Tumour Research by setting up a Facebook group. Friends across the world, including the US, UK and Australia in particular, have raised more than $12,000 (£9,267) in three weeks.
Lydia said: “I’m thrilled to hear about everything my friends and family are doing and it’s really helping to keep my spirits up as I undergo treatment. It’s really touching that, even though they’re miles away, my Wakefield family is there for me.”
Matthew Price, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “It’s wonderful that Lydia’s family are supporting her from thousands of miles away and we’re extremely grateful that the money they raise will help us to fund research into brain tumours. We hope that as many people as possible will rally behind her family in Wakefield to help them reach their goal.
“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet, historically, just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. We cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at Research Centres of Excellence in the UK; it also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure. The charity is calling for an annual spend of £35m in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia.
To donate to the Wakefield to Houston challenge, visit: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/wakefieldtohouston