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Rishi Sunak supports North Yorkshire family’s Twilight Walk

Andrew and Julie Elsworth’s Twilight Walk on Sunday 3 was especially poignant because Andrew’s only son, and Julie’s stepson, Daniel, passed away only two weeks ago, aged just 35.

Daniel, a former English teacher from Ripon, and a keen golfer, was diagnosed in 2016 with a glioblastoma brain tumour – the most aggressive form of the disease. He leaves behind a wife, Holly, and three young daughters – Matilda, 5, and twins Mollie and Mabel, 2.

Andrew, 61, who runs a cleaning business in Northallerton with Julie, said: “Prior to my son being diagnosed, I am sad to say I had no awareness that this illness was so common in the UK and around the world, affecting children and adults of all ages with such tragic outcomes.

“When I found out about Daniel, my immediate reaction was to set about learning as much as I could to find him a cure, believing mistakenly that there was a cure out there somewhere, and finding out very quickly there was not – only palliative care to try and buy time for him.

“Dan was my only child, and feeling so helpless was heart breaking.

“As a family, we feel lucky we had him with us for five years – much longer than many others diagnosed – but it’s still not long enough for an amazing intelligent father of three beautiful little girls under six years old.”

Andrew and Julie walked their chosen route with Julie’s two daughters, and their eight grandchildren, close to their Northallerton home. The day before their walk, they were joined by their local MP Rishi Sunak, who is also Chancellor of the Exchequer, at an awareness-raising event they held in Northallerton town centre.

Julie Elsworth said: “We were so appreciative of Rishi and his team supporting our awareness day. They were absolutely amazing and it was an honour to have the chance to chat so openly with the Chancellor about our cause and the need for action on brain tumours.

“He was very empathetic to us and our family and we can’t thank him enough for giving up his time on a cold and windy Saturday morning.”

The Elsworths originally set out to raise £1,000 from their sponsored walk, but have more than doubled that target, with over £2,200 raised so far.

Andrew said: “People are losing their lives daily to this horrific disease – funding research to find a cure is the only answer.

“We as a country, along with others contributing, have shown with this pandemic, if enough funding is given, our incredible scientists can find answers – even with an illness we knew so little about. The skilled minds are there, but we urgently need more funding. We will fight on in Dan’s memory to try and save other families from this tragic situation.”

Rishi Sunak, said: “I was pleased to support the Elsworths and their efforts to raise awareness and funds for research into the disease which so tragically took Daniel from them and the rest of his family.

“Their walk and the event they staged in Northallerton was a most fitting tribute in Daniel’s memory and I applaud them for their strength and spirit at this difficult time.”

Join us remotely for The Twilight Walk this October and help us pick up the pace towards a cure. Choose from our 10km, 40km or 130km options or set your own distance. Every step you take will help us move further, faster for everyone affected by brain tumours.

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