A Northumberland couple, whose son was treated for a rare brain tumour, have more than trebled their original target for a regional charity.
Amy and Alex Fawcett, both 35 from Stannington, took part in a series of gruelling sporting challenges in 2016 that included two marathons, the Great North Run, a triathlon in Abu Dhabi and walking Hadrian’s Wall.
The self-confessed ‘un-sporty’ couple had smashed their target of raising over £11,000 – £1,000 for each round of chemotherapy endured by their son Joseph – for the North of England Children’s Cancer Research Fund (NECCR) within the first three months of the year.
They received support from family and friends, some of whom took part in a number of the challenges.
Joseph was just eight months old when he was diagnosed with an atypical teratoid rhabdoid tumour in July 2013.
Thanks to many donations from members of the public, the couple’s final total for NECCR was more than £35,000.
Amy said: “We want to say a huge thank you, from the bottom of our hearts, to everyone who has been involved in the fund-raising efforts over the past year.
“When we initially learned of Joseph’s diagnosis back in 2013, as a family, we felt so helpless. By setting up Joseph’s Appeal and raising this incredible amount of money in support of research, we now feel as though we’ve been able to make a difference.
“Participating in the Great North Run alongside an amazing team of friends and family was a particular highlight.”
At the time of diagnosis, Joseph had just a 10 per cent chance of survival. Over the course of seven months, his treatment included 11 bouts of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.
During that time, he spent only a handful of nights at home with his mum and dad, spending most of his time in hospital.
Amy said: “Although this year will mark Joseph’s three-year anniversary of being cancer free, the aggressive nature of his treatment caused him loss of hearing and damage to his immune system.
“Despite this, Joseph, now four, began pre-school in January and continues to defy all of our expectations.”