The last couple of weeks have been a difficult time for our family, in that on 27th October, my sister and brother-in-law’s niece, Maddie, lost her fight against a brain tumour. Maddie was only 10.

Despite her symptoms and the side-effects of her treatment, Maddie was one of the most joyful people you would ever meet. I shall always remember her with a huge grin on her face, and the biggest belly laugh I have ever heard.

Research into brain tumours in children receive very little central funding. Therefore, an event called the Million Metre Swim has been organised to help raise funds for Nottingham’s Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre. You can read more about it at

Our niece, Hannah, who is also 10, has decided to help to raise money for the centre, so that, hopefully, other children can live. Hannah will be swimming 1 mile (64 lengths) on Sunday 11th November 2007 in Nottingham, as a participant in the Million Metre Swim. As I write, she has already raised more than £1200, but more money is needed to help research childhood brain tumours.

Koffdrop has kindly agreed to promote Hannah’s fundraising by adding a link on this page to her website, which you can also visit at Since every penny counts, please consider donating.

We are filled with admiration for the way in which Hannah and her brother, Liam, have remained brave and strong through this terrible time, and can think of no better tribute to their only cousin, Maddie. Finally, I would like to share with you a poem that Hannah and Liam wrote for Maddie, and which they read out at her funeral earlier this week.

Our Maddie, Our cousin, Our friend
Our playmate
Our partner in crime
Our co-star in our shows
Our trampoline bouncing buddy
Our angel in heaven
Our star in the sky
Our friend, Our cousin, Our Maddie
We will miss you always

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