‘My name is Graham Morris and I am the dad of a family supported by Candlelighters.
In 2015 my daughter, Anya, was diagnosed with a type of brain tumour called clival chordoma. Anya underwent 2 surgeries on her brain at Leeds General Infirmary to remove as much of the tumour as possible. We then spent 3 months in Oklahoma, America while Anya underwent 43 sessions of Proton beam therapy on the remaining tissue.’
Proton beam therapy is a type of radiotherapy that uses a beam of high energy protons to treat specific types of cancer. Currently, there is only one NHS centre in the UK which provides proton beam therapy- at the time of Anya’s treatment, there were none.
‘Upon our return, Candlelighters were there to support us as a family. They helped us with short breaks while Anya finished her treatment, patient, parent and sibling support groups, and talking therapies, as well as many other events that have helped by introducing us to other families in similar situations.
I have always tried to repay Candlelighters through fundraising, and my latest event will take place on September 19th this year. I and a group of friends I have known for many years through East Leeds ARL are undertaking a 26-mile walk along the Northumberland coastline, from Alnwick Castle to Bamburgh Castle. As a group, we have a strong bond. Myself and David Collier, one of the walkers, used to coach a junior rugby team and we have stayed together as a group and are great friends. All the other walkers are part of that team (they were 13 when we started coaching, they are now in their mid-30s) and these lads supported me and my family, just as Candlelighters did through Anya’s treatment.
Our aim is to raise as much money for Candlelighters as possible, as we are aware of the challenges COVID-19 has thrown at charities and how it has affected their funding. Rest assured we will have many laughs along the way.’
We’re sure you’ll join us in wishing Graham and the rest of the team the best of luck on their fantastic journey! Thank you so much for supporting Candlelighters.