A mother from Corsham is taking on a step challenge to raise money for Brain Tumour Research after her daughter was diagnosed with the disease at the age of two.
Mum-of-four Emma Williams, 37, will take on the charitys 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge six months after Peggy, three, was diagnosed with low-grade meningioma in August 2021.
During the first Covid-19 lockdown in March 2020, Peggy developed a lazy eye.
Concerned parents, stay-at-home mum, Emma and her playground installer husband Dave, 41, mentioned the change in Peggys eye during a routine check-up with the health visitor which was online due to the pandemic.
Later that month, she began to develop ptosis, which is a drooping of the upper eye lid and her eye didnt move. After insisting on a face-to-face GP appointment, the toddler was referred to Royal United Hospital in Bath where further investigation found no problems with her sight and she was given an MRI scan.
The family faced an agonising wait for results which showed a small lump on top of Peggys optical nerve.
After five months of more MRI scans, a lumbar puncture to drain excess fluid, and an unsuccessful round of steroids to try and shrink the tumour, Peggy underwent a tricky 10.5-hour operation at Bristol Childrens Hospital.
Unable to remove the mass because of its size and location, surgeons could only take a biopsy.
Emma said: You wouldnt know anything is wrong with her, shes the most independent and bubbly child always causing mayhem on the hospital ward and running around the corridors.
Doctors are 70 per cent sure the tumour is a low-grade meningioma and Peggy is due to have a follow-up MRI scan later this month to discuss treatment.
Emma added: The first six months were dreadful as we didnt have a diagnosis. As time goes on, we are slowly finding out what we are dealing with.
This isnt the first health challenge the family has had to deal with. In 2017, Dave discovered he had testicular cancer which required surgery and thankfully no further treatment.
The family, including Chloe, 19, Fletcher, 14, and Noah, six, as well as staffie-beagle cross Olive, will be taking to the pavements this February to do their bit and fundraise to help provide vital research to find a cure for brain tumours.
Emma said: What weve had to deal with as a family over the last five years has been incredibly difficult and Ive had support for anxiety and depression."
I walk everywhere and it has given me time to reflect. Taking part in this challenge is so important to us as a family to help others who might be going through something similar.
"If we can help even a small amount and raise awareness then thats all we could ask for.
After a successful first challenge a year ago which raised nearly 1 million to support vital research and campaigning, Brain Tumour Researchs 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge is back.
The charity is calling for people to step up to the Facebook challenge and make it even bigger and better in 2022.
Participants will receive a free emoji t-shirt and fundraising pack when they receive their first donation and a special medal if they raise 274 or more.
Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: Were sorry to hear about Peggys diagnosis and what the family has been through over the last few years and we wish them well during Peggys treatment.
"Its incredible that Emma is using her 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge to support others who may be going through a similar situation.
The best part of the challenge is that you can fit your steps in with your everyday life. That could be having a coffee and catching up with friends at your local park, walking your commute or school run instead of driving, getting off the bus a few stops earlier or walking around your house whilst on the phone.
"You could even team up with friends or colleagues and complete your steps together!
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 the driving force behind the call 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.
To sponsor Emma on her 10,000 Steps a Day in February Challenge go to https://www.facebook.com/donate/339598237690616/
Mum's charity challenge after toddler's lazy eye turned out to be brain tumour - The Wiltshire Gazette and Herald
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