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Woodford Green children star in charity campaign across the capital

PUBLISHED: 07:00 12 February 2019 | UPDATED: 11:28 12 February 2019

Daniel and Layla lost their dad to a brain tumour. Photo:Brain Tumour Research

Daniel and Layla lost their dad to a brain tumour. Photo:Brain Tumour Research

Archant

Two siblings, whose dad died of a brain tumour, are starring in a charity campaign which will raise funds to help find a cure for the disease.

Shaz and David Hetherington with their children. Photo: Brain Tumour ResearchShaz and David Hetherington with their children. Photo: Brain Tumour Research

Daniel and Layla Hetherington, of Woodford Green, have become the faces of the Brain Tumour Research charity’s Wear A Hat Day campaign.

Ahead of the national fundraising event on Friday, March 29, the brother and sister can be seen in advertising on the London Underground from February 25 and at National Rail stations across the country.

Their dad, David Hetherington, was diagnosed with a low-grade oligoastrocytoma brain tumour when his wife Shaz was 31 weeks pregnant with Layla.

He underwent gruelling chemotherapy, radiotherapy and immunotherapy in a bid to arrest the growth of the tumour which over time changed to an aggressive grade 4 glioblastoma.

Daniel dons a hat. Photo: Brain Tumour ResearchDaniel dons a hat. Photo: Brain Tumour Research

David, who worked for HSBC at Canary Wharf, died aged 39 in November 2016 when Layla and Daniel were aged four and two.

Shaz, who has gone on to set up the fundraising group Power of David, under the umbrella of Brain Tumour Research, said: “I’m delighted that Layla and Daniel are a part of this campaign and they are so excited to see their faces on the Underground.

“Like me, they are dedicated to making a difference in David’s name and this has been the perfect opportunity for them to help raise awareness.

“I hope one day when they’re older, they will look back on these photos and know that they contributed towards a cure for this awful disease.”

Layla models her chosen headwear. Photo: Brain Tumour ResearchLayla models her chosen headwear. Photo: Brain Tumour Research

Daniel and Layla are among a group of children who were invited to take part in the campaign and, like them, all the children have either been bereaved by a brain tumour, are living with a brain tumour or have a close family member who has been diagnosed.

The young people, aged up to 13, are donning their best headwear – from beanies to cowboy hats, trilbies to Panamas, baseball caps to novelty headpieces – and are asking others to join them.

Sue Farrington Smith, chief executive of Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are extremely grateful to Layla and Daniel for helping us to launch Wear A Hat Day 2019.

“I know that people will be both distressed and inspired to hear the stories of all of these families who, like my own, know the pain of a brain tumour diagnosis.

David and Layla lost their dad to a brain tumour. Photo:Brain Tumour ResearchDavid and Layla lost their dad to a brain tumour. Photo:Brain Tumour Research

“We are entirely committed to easing this pain by improving treatment options for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer yet, historically, just 1per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease. Brain Tumour Research is proud to be changing this.”

Wear A Hat Day also has the backing of supermodel, businesswoman and brain tumour survivor Caprice who underwent surgery to remove a meningioma brain tumour two years ago.

A patron of Brain Tumour Research, Caprice plays a key role in raising awareness of the disease and campaigning for the government and the larger cancer charities to increase national investment in research.

Also supporting this year’s fundraiser is Strictly Come Dancing finalist Debbie McGee who lost her superstar magician husband Paul Daniels to the disease three years ago.

Lots of work places, schools and businesses are taking part.

To get involved, or donate visit: wearahatday.org

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