Sikh running club holds event for Woodford Green girl with rare brain tumour
PUBLISHED: 18:01 04 December 2017 | UPDATED: 18:03 04 December 2017
A Sikh running club gave back to the community recently by hosting a charity event to raise money for a young girl with an incurable brain tumour.
The Team Kaleigh 10K Challenge was organised to raise additional funds for seven-year-old Kaleigh Lau, of Snakes Lane East, Woodford Green.
In April last year, Kaleigh, was told she had Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma (DIPG), a very rare and aggressive tumour.
Since then she began to suffer double vision, unbalanced walking and her left hand became very weak.
Earlier this year, she started travelling to Mexico every month with her family, to try and find a way of halting the tumour through a pioneering treatment.
So far, Kaleigh has responded well to the treatment and now Team Kaleigh is raising money in order to ensure the seven-year-old can continue to travel abroad.
At Sikhs in the City Running Club on November 26, a whole host of friends, family and complete strangers united to run a challenging 10K on a blustery winter day.
Mayor of Redbridge Councillor Linda Huggett gave a rousing speech before starting the race and was on hand to present medals for every runner.
She said: “It’s amazing to see everyone here today and I congratulate every runner for their dedication and human spirit.”
Celebrated runners included Jog on Hijabi Lynne Northcott, who is preparing for the London Marathon whilst raising money for a Gambia water project for Penny Appeal, Timi Veerasamy from Dagenham 88 and prolific long distance running legend Harmander Singh.
Organiser Jason Li said that the most uplifting moment of the race was watching “brave Kaleigh take part and complete the course in her wheelchair”.
He added: “I’m just relieved the event ran like clockwork.
“The weather was cold but the sun was out. We had no rain and even little Kaleigh participated.
“Everyone looks so happy and there is a great spirit of togetherness – It’s been perfect.”
Kaleigh’s Father Scott Lau thanked everyone for their support: “We are very blessed to have so many people come out and support Kaleigh and her determination has spurred us on even more. It’s just been an amazing day.
“We will do whatever it takes to make life easier for Kaleigh and it’s just fantastic that we have so many unbelievable people joining us on this journey.
“I’m really proud of everybody and immensely inspired by my own daughter. This illness hasn’t got a cure at the moment and we want to make a change as Team Kaleigh.
“It’s been emotional and we are full of pride - thank you everyone.”
The route was run on Roding Lane South, Woodford Bridge Road and Woodford Avenue with several friendly volunteer marshalls manning road crossings.
Readers who wish to make a donation should state clearly your full name, add a reference: “TK 10K” with your deposit and if possible an email to firstname.lastname@example.org so that it can be added to the event’s fundraising total.
Payee: Kaleigh Lau Account No: 98159575 Sort Code: 09-01-28
For event updates or to find out more about Kaleigh’s story and her new UK Petition, please visit her website at kaleigh.ethanet.co.uk