Great Wall trek tribute for Abigail Lightbown
THE father of a tragic schoolgirl who lost her battle against a brain tumour has raised more than £40,000 after taking on the Great Wall of China.
Abigail Lightbown, aged 11, died last November after a two-year battle with the illness.
It left her parents Gary and Bernie and her six-year-old brother Jack ‘broken-hearted.’ Yet it was Abigail’s bravery while battling the illness that inspired her father to take on the challenge of a lifetime in April to boost cash for Brain Tumour Research.
Mr Lightbown and a team of 12 colleagues from Kingsland Wines and Spirits in Irlam did a nine-day trek along a 50km stretch of the wall.
The team were congratulated for their efforts by actor Antony Cotton — who plays Sean Tully in Coronation Street.
The actor said: “I hope that Abigail’s story and her father’s Great Wall of China trek will help raise awareness of this form of cancer so that the vital breakthrough needed in brain tumour research is achieved sooner rather than later.”
Abigail, who was a healthy and active girl who loved karate and crafts, became ill aged nine, in August, 2010.
Six months later, an MRI scan revealed the former Heathfield Primary School pupil had a life-threatening brain tumour. A lengthy operation removed 95 per cent of the tumour but affected Abigail’s balance and she developed double vision.
And a 48-week course of intensive radiotherapy could not prevent the cancer from returning.
Just weeks before Abigail was due to start at Ladybridge High School in September last year, her parents were given the devastating news that the tumour had spread and there was nothing more doctors could do.
Abigail’s father said: “We are so proud of our daughter.
“People don’t under- stand how inspiring and motivating she was.
“It was a terrible shock to learn that Abigail had a brain tumour and then devastating to learn that there was so little that could be done.
“We discovered that brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet less than one per cent of national cancer research spending goes on brain tumours.
“I felt I had to do something to make a difference, even if it was going to be too late for Abigail.”
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