Penwortham mum will hike Vietnam trail in memory of Katy Holmes
A Penwortham mum is taking on a 10-day trek in Vietnam in memory of her daughter who died from a brain tumour.
Paula Holmes, 41, will be embarking on the hike in memory of her daughter Katy who was just 10 when she lost her three-month battle with the tumour in 2012.
The Katy Holmes Trust, set up in her memory, funds world-class research into treatments for brain tumours including diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma (DIPG) - the type which took Katy’s life.
Paula, along with close friend and trustee Alison Allen from Garstang, 51, will fly to Vietnam on August 21 to begin the trek that will see them traverse through plunging highland valleys, tiers of rice paddies and soaring limestone mountains.
“Katy was a very bright, vibrant, kind, loving, pure, innocent and genuine child who would do anything for anyone,” said Paula. “She was a very popular little girl and she never had a bad word to say about anybody.
“Katy had her whole life ahead of her and she was taken away from us in the cruellest way. We have experienced the most unimaginable, indescribable pain.
“Knowing the devastation that children’s brain tumours cause, I have a duty to do something about it.
“I am inspired by the strength shown by all my children every day and Katy’s loss urges me to keep going. If we don’t keep going then we won’t get there and find a cure for this terrible disease.
“Every day children are being diagnosed with and dying from brain tumours and this needs to change.”
Paula and her family have fundraised tirelessly in Katy’s memory, taking on challenges around the globe, ticking off destinations from Katy’s ‘Bucket List’.
“When Katy was unwell we wanted to fill her head with beautiful images and positive thoughts so we asked her to research the most beautiful places in the world that we could visit when she was well again,” said Paula.
“We made a bucket list of places she would like to visit and since her passing it’s been my mission to fulfil her dreams and so now I am heading to Vietnam, just like she wanted.
Since the Katy Holmes Trust was established in 2012, its fundraising efforts have led to the investment of more than £1m into research into brain tumours.
The work funded by the Trust forms part of a wider programme of research into childhood brain tumours, such as DIPG, led by The Brain Tumour Charity.
DIPG is a type of high-grade cancerous brain tumour and just 10 per cent of children with DIPG survive longer than two years after diagnosis.
Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “We are incredibly grateful to Paula and her family and friends for continuing to raise awareness of this devastating disease and for fundraising so tirelessly in Katy’s memory.
“Brain tumours are the biggest cancer killer in children and adults under the age of 40.
“Funding from the Katy Holmes Trust will continue to help to drive forward our understanding of DIPG, offering hope to families like Katy’s who are confronted by this awful disease.
“Research of this kind is the only way we are going to end the devastation caused by brain tumours. All of those who so generously support the Katy Holmes Trust and The Brain Tumour Charity are helping to make that happen.
“We wish Paula and Alison the best of luck as they take on an incredible challenge in Katy’s memory.”
To make a donation to Paula and Alison’s fundraising bid go to: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/khtvietnam2018
To find out more about brain tumours, their symptoms, and about The Brain Tumour Charity and how they can help, visit: www.thebraintumourcharity.org