Seven friends will be setting off on a five day walk from York to Bardon to raise money and awareness for The Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre (CBTRC) in Nottingham.
The 110-mile journey is in special memory of Alfi Mjeshtri, a four-year-old boy who was diagnosed with a brain tumour in September 2011 and later lost his battle three months later.
The CBTRC was established in 1997 and is a joint collaboration between The University of Nottingham and the Queen’s Medical Centre (QMC), which have been UK leaders in childhood brain tumours since the UK’s first paediatric neuroscience ward opened at the QMC in the 1980s.
The six friends all work with Halim Mjeshtri, Alfi’s father at Eddie Stobart’s warehouse in Bardon, Leicestershire. Peter Schofield, one of the walkers said: “We all live close to work and the sad loss of Halim’s son Alfi had a huge effect on our place and local community. The effect it had on the local community can still been seen today, as his facebook page now has over 600 followers and continues to grow.”
“Since Alfi lost his battle against brain tumour his parents Halim and Suzanne have wanted to get brain tumour awareness out there into the public eye. So the walk challenge was born from a conversation between a few of us at work.”
During his illness, Alfi was treated at The CBTRC by Professor Richard Grundy, who jointly leads centre.
Dr David Walker, Professor of Paediatric Oncology said: “Alfi sadly had a type of brain tumour for which there is currently still limited understanding of its particular biological character and how they affect sensitivity to current treatments.”
“His father and his friends have decided to make a long journey on foot in his memory to sustain the impetus to conduct research in the area of brain tumour research. I wish them well and enjoyed meeting them recently at the research centre.”
The CBTRC unites multi-disciplinary experts all committed to improving the understanding of childhood train tumours. Their research into paediatrics, neurosciences, oncology, imaging, pharmaceutical sciences and cellular genetics guides national and international developments in brain tumour research and clinical practice, leading to new methods of research to help find a cure, whilst minimising the risk of disability.
Halim Mjeshtri said: “The centre doesn’t receive much funding and it’s important to keep the research going so others don’t suffer like Alfi did and tumours can be diagnosed earlier. The walk isn’t just about raising much needed funds but it’s to get awareness out there.”
The money raised by the seven friends will contribute to the latest, cutting-edge equipment and will enable the continued delivery of ground-breaking results for patients and their families at the same time as propelling research capability forwards.
Peter Schofield said: “None of the walkers have attempted anything like this before so it’s a huge challenge for us all, from the route planning to the walk training.”
The walking team consists of Halim Mjeshtri, Peter Schofield, Peter Taylor, Richard Moss, Martin Upton and Gary Freakley. James Wright is also involved, acting as team support. On the 3rd June they will all set off on their five day trek wearing t-shirts which show a photo of Alfi along with the address to which people can donate money — www.justigiving.com/Walk-For-Alfi
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