Teesside community keeping memory of five-year-old alive after death from brain tumour

Rachel Bullock met some of the women taking part in the charity challenge in memory of Sophie Welburn

A community has rallied together to raise money in memory of a five-year-old girl who died from a brain tumour.

The month-long fitness challenge is taking place in memory of Sophie Welburn, from Darlington.

Louise Welburn, Sophie's mum, said: "She was just perfect, she was so funny and loving and friendly.

"She was diagnosed with a brain tumour with a terminal diagnosis so she went from a happy, perfect little girl to a terminally ill girl overnight."

Sophie's family was devastated when she was diagnosed with a terminal brain tumour. She died in March 2022. Credit: Family

Sophie, who was a pupil at Abbey Infant School, died in March 2022, a year after being diagnosed with the tumour.

Her family is now trying to keep her memory alive through a charity challenge raising money for Jessica's Sarcoma Awareness, a North East charity set up to help other young people with cancer.

Teesside-based Limitless Yoga and Aerial, where Louise is a member, is organising the event.

Members have been squatting, planking and doing as many yoga poses as they can throughout March to raise as much money as possible.

Louise said: "We couldn't have got through this without the support of our family and friends and community.

"It just keeps her memory alive and we can make a difference to families in our situation as well. It doesn't feel as hopeless at times. This is something we can give back."

Members of Limitless Yoga and Aerial, including Sophie's mum Louise (pictured on top of the pyramid) have been taking part in the challenge. Credit: ITV Tyne Tees

Katie Taylor, of Limitless Yoga and Aerial, said: "We chose things that anyone can get involved with. People can just message me and say 'I've done 10 squats today' and that is added to our total."

Money raised will support Jess's Lodge, a place near Hexham which was set up by 18-year-old Jessica Robson in the months before her death from cancer.

It is aimed at giving children and teenagers with cancer a place to relax and spend quality time with their families.

Julie Robson, Jessica's mum, who runs the charity, said: "From the bottom of my heart I can't thank them enough.

"I can feel Jess pushing us everyday. It's her driving us to do us and driving us to get up in the morning and do this for these children."

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