Little Hero charity on way to reach funding goal
Fundraising initiatives for the Little Hero charity have raised £78,000 towards their target of £100,000.
The charity was set up earlier this year after six-year-old Will Rainsbury from Westbury Park died from a brain tumour. The little boy fought a courageous nine-month battle against brain cancer, enduring radiotherapy sessions, chemotherapy and surgery. His parents, John and Lee-Ann, want to raise funds to improve treatment for the devastating disease which is the biggest single reason for child mortality.
The charity has seen a great response from the local community including a Walk for Will undertaken by the children, parents and teachers at Westbury Park School. Up to 99 people have stepped up to the fundraising challenge taking part in events including Break the Cycle, the Three Peaks Challenge, Tough Mudder and the Bristol Half Marathon. There have been adventures along the way too - ten people and a driver set off for the Bristol to Paris cycle, and all was going well until the group were diverted near Paris as they were cycling on a motorway! Will’s dad, John, was one of two participants in the Medoc marathon, running for the charity in the Bordeaux sunshine, which he described as ‘part enjoyment, part punishment’!
A big dinner at Bosco Pizzeria along with a charity auction is planned for November 20, Will’s birthday, plus a separate event for his friends to celebrate and remember him.
John has been campaigning with Head Smart (the brain tumour charity) to highlight the importance of new studies needed to research brain tumours in children. Will was diagnosed with a Group 3, Medulloblastoma – a particularly aggressive high-grade childhood brain tumour. Brain tumours are the single biggest reason for one quarter of all deaths in children yet the illness attracts less than one per cent of funding on cancer. John has met with Baroness Nicola Blackwood in Westminster, and raised the issue that he can’t find any research study on childhood brain cancer funded by the government.
Little Hero is supporting Head Smart who are campaigning for a data bank of information to be kept about individual cases of childhood cancer, so that the information can be made available to researchers applying for research grants in the future.
John said: “Fundraising is going well but I’m disappointed by the lack of focus for new treatments. Germany and the USA research in this area and we have spent £30,000 on a research project St Jude Children’s Research Hospital in Memphis which aims to work out which genes mutate into Medulloblastoma.”
Little Hero charity also plan to spend some of their funds on the next phase of the INSTINCT research project conducted between the hospitals at Newcastle, Great Ormond Street and the Marsden, which aims to deliver improved therapies.
The family would like to thank everyone who has helped so far with fundraising. To find out more: www.facebook.com/Littlehero.org.uk/ or to donate to the cause: www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/will-rainsbury