Sunderland sisters help fund brain tumour research with park run

Louise and Lisa, in white vests, leading the charity run
Louise and Lisa, in white vests, leading the charity run
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Hundreds turned out to show support for Sunderland sisters who organised a charity run on the first anniversary of their mum’s death.

Lisa Atkinson, 35, and Louise Bircham, 37, were devastated by the death of mum Lorna Atkinson, 69, of East Herrington who died in March last year following an 18 month battle with a brain tumour.

Lorna Atkinson

Lorna Atkinson

To mark a year since her passing, the sisters hosted a 5k run at Saltwell Park in Gateshead, which attracted more than 300 fun-runners and raised almost £900 to fund brain tumour research.

Following their mum’s death, the pair set up The Lorn’s Legacy, an umbrella charity which has raised thousands of pounds for national charity Brain Tumour Research.

Lisa said: “We were blown away by the support we got. It meant such a lot to Louise and me. We miss Mam every day.

“We lost Dad very suddenly from a heart attack, which was a massive shock, but the way Mam died was so cruel. The brain tumour changed everything about her; her personality, appearance, mobility and behaviour. She changed so much that she was barely recognisable as the same person.”

Lisa and Louise at a previous fun run

Lisa and Louise at a previous fun run

Their efforts coincide with Wear A Hat Day, today.

Launched by Brain Tumour Research in 2010, the awareness day encourages schools, workplaces, families and individuals to wear a hat and fundraise for the charity to help fund life-saving research.

Louise, who is mum to Cameron, 12, Adam, eight, and Jessica, four) said: “Mam died in March, which is Brain Tumour Awareness Month. It ends each year with Wear A Hat Day.

“Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years, compared with a 50% average for all cancers – so please wear a hat and make a donation to The Lorn’s Legacy or Brain Tumour Research. It’s so easy to do.”

Lorna was diagnosed with an aggressive brain tumour in September 2014 and given a prognosis of 12 to 18 months if she chose to have surgery and just three months without.

She underwent a craniotomy, but it was too dangerous to remove all of the tumour because of its position. Lorna then had chemotherapy and radiotherapy, but she passed away on March 25 2016.

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