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Abbie’s Army join #teamICR for the London Marathon

This year, a team of three runners will be taking on the London Marathon for Abbie’s Army to raise money for childhood brain tumour research at The Institute of Cancer Research.

James Ashby, daughter Maddie and friend Summer

Image, left to right: James Ashby, James' daughter Maddie, and Maddie's friend Summer

James Ashby and Louise and Darren Lavender are all connected by their desire to do something positive after close friends and family tragically lost children to a rare type of cancer called DIPG.

James felt driven to raise money for Abbie’s Army, after the death of his daughter’s best friend, Summer. She died on 20 March 2018, she was nine years old.

After Summer’s diagnosis, she underwent trial treatment for seven months until her death. Her family then got in touch with Abbie’s Army, a charity that has generously supported research into DIPG at the ICR since 2013.

Creating something positive

James said: “My daughter and Summer had so much love for each other – they were inseparable, absolute besties! They spent so many evenings and weekends together, and we knew Summer very well.

“We have all tried to create something positive from this tragedy, and have rallied behind raising money for research into DIPG so that other children in the future will survive their brain tumour.”

Louise and Darren Lavender are running for their cousin’s daughter Isla, who died last July, aged seven, just a year after she was diagnosed.

Louise shared Isla’s story: “One day Isla woke up paralysed and, after several misdiagnoses, it was found that she had a brain tumour and she was diagnosed with DIPG.

“After Isla died, we began fundraising as a family and found Abbie’s Army. When Darren and I saw the spaces for the marathon, we jumped at the chance to run and raise more funds for research at the ICR.”


You can support James and donate to ICR research through Abbie’s Army:

Donate on JustGiving

You can support Louise and Darren and donate to ICR research through Abbie’s Army:

Donate on GoFundMe


Childhood cancer research at the ICR

The ICR is an internationally leading research centre in the study of childhood cancers and cancers in children, teenagers and young adults.

Find out more

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