Inspirational mum Andrea Burkill raises £100,000 in 13 days for tumour research
A devoted mum has scooped a national award for her fundraising efforts which raised more than £100,000 for brain tumour research in children in just 13 days.
Andrea Burkill’s life fell apart in June 2011 when her then five-year-old daughter Claudia was diagnosed with an extremely rare and aggressive brain tumour.
On three occasions doctors told her that her child would die, and she has had to learn to live with the fact that her daughter, now 7, has a disease which will take her life.
Metastatic pineoblastoma is the type of tumour Claudia has in the centre of her brain, and medics only see around two or three cases a year in the UK.
Brave Claudia, of Market Rasen, has been through more than 40 sessions of chemotherapy, and despite having lost her speech and movement to the disease, is still fighting.
“She is my inspiration,” said mum-of-four Andrea, 36, who has been married to David for more than ten years.
The couple have spent the last two years on an emotional rollercoaster as the tumours spread across Claudia’s body.
As a way of keeping loved ones informed of Claudia’s progress, the couple started a Facebook page called “Claudia’s Cause”.
It has had more than one million hits and Claudia’s story has captured the hearts and minds of a vast online community.
Andrea has now won an Inspirational Woman award for her devotion to her daughter and determination in her fundraising efforts.
The annual Inspiration Awards for women celebrates the achievements of remarkable women, who inspire those around them, either through the media or through their astounding achievements in their everyday lives.
She said: “I was completely overwhelmed to even have been shortlisted, let alone to have won.”
Such is the popularity of the Claudia’s Cause Facebook page that in just 13 days Andrea raised an amazing £100,000 for the children’s brain tumour research centre at the University of Nottingham.
Professor Richard Grundy, paediatric neuro-oncologist and director of the children’s brain tumour research centre, said: “We are so grateful for this welcome funding for our research programme and to Claudia’s mum for helping bring this vital research to the attention of so many throughout the world.
“This will enable our team to improve understanding of brain tumours and help us to improve the treatments available to children like Claudia.”
Dr Sophie Wilne, consultant paediatric oncologist at the research centre, said: “I would like to congratulate Andrea and Dave on this amazing achievement.
“Since I met them they have always approached any challenge with courage, humour and determination and whilst I am delighted they have raised so much money in such a short space of time, I never doubted they would reach their target.”