The event took place in Ellesmere, Shropshire, on Saturday (September 30) in memory of 13-year-old Ella McCreadie, from the town and seven-year-old Aaron Wharton, from Buckley.
Both children were sadly lost to brain tumours in the last year and Saturday’s event was a 5km walk to raise vital funds for the Brain Tumour Research charity.
And, despite the rain, over 700 people turned out in a sea of pink. Amazingly, the Ellesmere event has raised in excess of £30,000. This is enough to fund 10 full days of research at one of Brain Tumour Research’s Centres of Excellence.
Aaron’s mum, Nicola, said: “It was simply incredible how two communities came together to form one army of support in Ellesmere, as well as walking to remember both Aaron and Ella.
“The atmosphere was amazing, filled with memories and love for our children. Words will never be enough to express how much this means to us as families, and the amount of fundraising this event has generated is simply breathtaking.
“Money is still coming in, but it’s looking like the event has raised in excess of £30,000. We live in hope that this will contribute in some way to finding that all important cure.”
Several hundred people turned out for the event. (Image: Nicola Wharton)
Among those taking part in the walk was Aaron’s best friend, Joseph Webb.
“He stayed by my side throughout the whole Walk of Hope,” Nicola said. “Talking about Aaron and the special memories he has of them together.
“He loved Aaron so much. They were so much more than best friends. They were brothers, and I will love him always, just as Aaron would have done, and would want me to do.”
Nicola pictured with Joseph during the Walk of Hope. (Image: Nicola Wharton)
Nicola and Ella’s mum, Sophie Penrose, were introduced to each other through Brain Tumour Research after Nicola had already identified Ellesmere, where Ella’s family live, as a suitable location for the walk.
They soon discovered other coincidences which convinced each of them that their lost children had brought them together. As well as both having set up Fundraising Groups with ‘Army’ in the name, Aaron’s last holiday was at Greenacres Holiday Park in Porthmadog where Ella’s family are booked to go for a holiday.
Nicola added: “When we were choosing names before our baby was born, Aaron was going to be called Ella if he’d been a girl and when I visited Ellesmere to check it out for the walk, there was a bench by the lake with Aaron’s initials AW carved into it.”
Sophie said: “Our paths were meant to have crossed. I hope we can help bring hope to families in the future whose loved ones are diagnosed with brain tumours.”