Mum to walk 150 miles in memory of son

George with his mum
George Price with his mum Laura, who is fundraising to support local children.

A Herefordshire mum who lost her son to a rare brain tumour is gearing up to walk 150 miles from Hereford to Woolacombe Bay, starting on 22 July, to raise money for other children 

George Price was just five years old when he was diagnosed in August 2020 with Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma – (DIPG). His mum, Laura, says:

“George woke up his normal cheeky self but after he had wolfed down his marmite on toast, he went on to be sick. After that moment, little did we know our lives would be turned upside down forever.

“After George had been sick, he had a lie down and, after he had woken up, his face had dropped on the one side so we called 999.”

The family from Herefordshire was rushed to Birmingham Children’s Hospital where the next morning George was diagnosed. DIPG affects children almost exclusively between the ages of four and 11. Children typically experience a month or less of symptoms before diagnosis and then worsen rapidly. Due to the location of the tumour, survival rate is zero.

“The moment we were sat down in the consultant’s room to be given George’s diagnosis will stay with us forever. In George’s case, the tumour had haemorrhaged  which explained his sudden decline and we were told he would die at any moment. In the consultant’s words, “You have been hit by lightning”.

George’s dad, Tom, was trained up to administer medication so that the family could return home:

“We wanted to be at home and spend as much time as possible with George and his brothers, Oscar and Harry, who were six and two at the time.”

Just six weeks later, on the 12 October 2020, George passed away in their arms.

And now, Laura – together with her three sisters-in-law and best friend – is walking 150 miles in memory of George. They begin their trek at the boys’ school, Stretton Sugwas Academy in Hereford, finishing at Woolacombe Bay in Devon on 29 July.

“Woolacombe is a very special place for us – we have visited every year since the boys were born and have spent many treasured family holidays there.”

She is expected to arrive in Woolacombe on Friday 5 August:

“We want to show George’s two brothers that life, love and hope still exist amongst the pain and loss but also to help us raise as much money as possible for ‘George’s Fund’ which is now our ongoing focus.”

George’s Fund has been set up via the Herefordshire Community Foundation (HCF) which is a local independent charity that provides a grant making and fund management service to their donors. 

They give grants to individuals, families, voluntary and community groups (and other charitable causes) and support projects that make a real difference to the quality of life for the people of Herefordshire.

“George’s Fund is managed by HCF and we will use all money to promote the interests of primary aged children in Herefordshire. This means we can give one-off grants to poorly children but also to projects that improve education, mental health, outdoor activities etc for the under-11s.”

“The great thing about HCF is they know exactly where there is need in the county so they can connect us with the causes that matter. Applications also go through a board of trustees, so we know the money is spent in the best way.

“As a mum, one of your jobs is to tell your children that ‘everything is going to be ok’. I couldn’t do that for George so if we as a family can make a small difference to another child’s life then that will give us huge comfort.”