A young girl from Gloucestershire has completed a marathon to raise money for a brain tumour charity after her dad’s devastating diagnosis.
Abbie Lanciano, from Innsworth, has walked over 60,000 steps to raise funds for the charity after it was discovered that her dad was suffering from a brain tumour.
Abbie’s dad Neil, 44, first discovered the tumour in his brain last April, after weeks of experiencing symptoms.
“It just happened really quickly,” said Abbie’s mum Hayley, 36.
He got symptoms over three weeks, and the GP surgery had been reluctant to see people because of coronavirus. They originally thought it was carpel tunnel syndrome. However, emergency services were called when Neil started experiencing symptoms while at work. His work thought it was a stroke, so they rang an ambulance and it just escalated from there.
Neil was soon after diagnosed with a Glioblastoma (GBM), a form of cancer that starts in the brain, and Hayley said of hearing the news: “Our world fell apart”.
After undergoing an operation in May and further chemotherapy and radiotherapy, Neil was given the crushing news in October that the tumour had not responded to the treatment and he would only make it to Christmas.
Yet despite this devastating prognosis, he has managed to defy the odds and push through to see Abbie complete the marathon in his honour last Saturday (February 20).
Though Neil’s operation left him unable to talk, Hayley said: “You can tell he’s so proud of her”.
Hayley has given up work and is currently caring for Neil full-time at home and said she is “so proud” of Abbie.
She added that the night they launched the JustGiving page, Abbie was scared they wouldn’t reach their initial target of £500.
As it turned out, she needn’t have fretted as the next morning she saw her fundraiser had already surpassed the goal and reached a total of £2,891.
Abbie said: “I’m very happy with what I achieved on Saturday. I am very shocked with how much money we raised, as I didn’t even think we would get £500 let alone nearly £3,000.”
Abbie, who completed the marathon alongside her friend Jasmine, added: “We were very tired towards the end but the amount of money we raised kept us going.”
Jasmine, 12, said: “When Abbie was feeling done I encouraged her to keep going and she did the same for me and we just got through it.”
The pair walked for nearly 11 hours, trekking for 10 hours and 53 minutes and clocking up 26.4 miles.
The duo began their walk in Longlevens and went on to cover Gloucester, Hucclecote, Brockworth, Up Hatherley, Shurdington, Cheltenham, Staverton and Innsworth.
Although lockdown restrictions meant that Abbie could only have one friend walk with her, several her other friends met up in pairs and did the same distance via a different route to show their support.
The family chose the charity when they realised how they could make a difference to people who have suffered the same illness as Neil.
Hayley said: “We’re just hopeful that at some point in the future, there’s better treatment for it.
“Brain Tumour Research UK said that it costs them £2,740 every day to do the research at the centre, and if Abbie could reach that target then they would be recognised by the Wall of Hope at the research centre.
“Abbie’s so happy to have achieved this for her dad.”
You can donate to the Lanciano family’s fundraiser for Brain Tumour Research on their JustGiving page here.
All funds will go towards funding long-term, sustainable research to find a cure for brain tumours.