Emma decided to raise funds for the Children's Brain Tumour Research Centre after her grandmother, Iris, died last year.
In her will, Iris requested that all donations made at her funeral would be donated to CBTRC.
Iris always spoke about the importance of CBTRC's research and how close this was to her heart.
Emma ran the Great North Run to raise funds and to keep her grandmother's commitment to seeing brain tumours in young children cured. She raised over £600!
Read her story below.
Tell us a little more about your fundraising challenge for CBTRC?
This year I ran the Great North Run for CBTRC. It’s a half marathon, a distance that I have ran once previously and additionally as part of a marathon. My goal was to not only beat my personal best but leave everything on the course and give it my all. I used to race walk for Great Britain so have quite a good level of fitness, but I really wanted to see how fast I could go over the distance, and enjoy myself too!
What does the cause mean to you?
CBTRC is a charity so close to mine and my family’s hearts. In February this year, my wonderful Grandma, Iris Hallam, passed away. Over 10 years ago, she was diagnosed with a brain tumour which, after extensive treatment at the QMC, was successfully removed. For the rest of her life, she was so grateful to have been given the gift of more time on this Earth and never took how lucky she has been to fully recover for granted. She knew that others weren’t so lucky, and would be robbed of the chance to grow old.
She felt a particular pull to CBTRC and the work you are doing to research and treat brain tumours in children out of the QMC. Grandma asked for all donations at her funeral to be made go CBTRC, and her feeling so passionately about this cause is now shared by so many of her friends and family, including myself.
"Time is precious, and yet so much of it seems to have been lost in the way of fundraising, treatment and research in the past year."
What was the atmosphere like on the day?
The 2021 GNR was amazing! The atmosphere was incredible, with huge crowds back again as well as steel drum bands and full-on rock stars on electric guitars! The course was apparently more uphill than usual (they had changed it due to Covid regulations), but the almost out and back loop made for a great turnout. We even got to go over the Tyne Bridge twice! The first 5-8km went by pretty breezily but at around the 10km mark, my left calf started to tighten. I hoped and prayed that it wouldn't give way completely, and pushed through without stopping to stretch! I crossed the finish line in 1 hour 36 minutes, which was so much quicker than I had ever hoped for. The crowd really did carry me round!
Why is now an essential time for someone to donate to brain tumour research?
Now is an essential time to donate to CBTRC for a number of reasons. The pandemic has hit small charities hard, through them not being able to fundraise in their usual way. The work of CBTRC is vital to ensuring brain tumour survival rates increase, through timely research and treatment. Time is precious, and yet so much of it seems to have been been lost in the way of fundraising, treatment and research in the past year.
Additionally, survival rates for children with brain tumours sits at one of the lowest for cancers. Whilst there has been a steady increase in rates for other types of cancers, the same can not be said for brain tumours. To increase the chance of young people being able to make a full recovery, more needs to be done, which is only possible through generous donations.
How much are you hoping to raise?
I had set myself a target of £250 to raise for CBTRC, but over 2 weeks before the event this had already been reached. I'm on track to bring in over double what I anticipated to raise. I’m so grateful for everyone that has donated and got behind such a fantastic cause in memory and honour of my Grandma.
Is there anything you’d like to say to the researchers and medical staff?
I’d like to say a huge thank you for all that you are doing! All of your efforts have gone above and beyond, especially in such a difficult year when work has been halted and slowed down. Without your diligence and hard work, more lives would be cut short and hope lost. You are a blessing to so many!