West Dulwich eight-year-old climbed Snowdon in memory of late father to raise money for cure for the disease which killed his beloved dad.
An eight-year-old boy has climbed Snowdon, raising more than £4,000 to help find a cure for brain tumours – the devastating disease which killed his father, aged just 40.
Oscar Moth from West Dulwich, lost his dad, Piers in March this year, 10 days before his eighth birthday.
Piers had been diagnosed with a brain tumour 10 years ago, after suffering a seizure at a party – just three weeks after meeting Laura, with whom he later had two daughters: Ella – known as Dizzy – aged 7, and Ottilie, two.
He spent three weeks in hospital with hydrocephalus, much of the time in intensive care, before it was discovered he had a brain tumour.
But it was too deep in his temporal lobe to operate, so Piers underwent chemotherapy and radiotherapy and was stable for eight years. Two years ago, though, it was found that the tumour, an anaplastic astrocytoma, had recurred and Piers underwent further chemotherapy to give him more time with his family.
Laura, an NHS respiratory physiotherapist whose job has been especially hard in the COVID crisis, said: “Oscar and I climbed Snowdon last week and were lucky that the weather was good – it was windy at the top, but clear and we could see for miles.
“We were accompanied by close friends, Rachel Rutt, who has been such a support since we lost Piers, and Felix Hughes, who was a great buddy of Piers and also in his band.”
Piers was a musician and peripatetic music teacher, who never went anywhere without a recorder in his pocket. “It was very poignant when Felix pulled out a flute on the summit and played a tune in his honour,” added Laura.
“Music was so important to Piers that when I went to hospital to give birth to Oscar, Piers forgot my hospital bag, but still had his recorder!
“When he had big seizures at home and we had to call for the paramedics, Piers would play TV theme tunes to them and quiz them as to what they were.
“Piers was the absolute best daddy our family could wish for, providing wrap-round care and school holiday cover while I worked full-time. He was brave and funny and the most kind and gentle soul. We all miss him more than you can imagine.
“I am so proud of Oscar. This is the first sponsored event he has done and the first time he has climbed a mountain. Before the COVID pandemic, he used to have weekly climbing lessons and always said he wanted to climb a mountain.
Since losing his daddy, he said he wanted to raise funds for research so that other families don’t lose a mummy or daddy, or anyone else they care about.”
Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet historically just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
Charlie Allsebrook, community development manager for Brain Tumour Research said: “We are really grateful to Oscar and Laura and their friends for climbing Snowdon in Piers’ memory and to help find more effective treatments and ultimately a cure for brain tumours.”
Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres 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 a national annual spend of £35 million in order to improve survival rates and patient outcomes in line with other cancers such as breast cancer and leukaemia and is also campaigning for greater repurposing of drugs.
Laura’s fundraising page: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/Laura-Moth
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