Charity challenges for little Isabelle

Katie butler and Isabelle Touhey
Katie butler and Isabelle Touhey

Express reporter Katie Butler will take on a trio of events to raise money for charity after her friend’s two-year-old niece was diagnosed with cancer.

Miss Butler, 26, will take on the Yorkshire Three Peaks Challenge, Leeds Country Way run and the Rother Valley triathlon to raise funds for the Parents’ Association of Children with Tumours and Leukaemia at Sheffield Children’s Hospital.

Doctors diagnosed her friend’s niece, Isabelle Touhey, from Sheffield, with neuroblastoma - a rare type of childhood cancer that develops from nerve tissue - in July.

It took fourteen doctors and nurses to partially remove the golf-ball sized tumour from the her lung cavity.

But the could not take it all out because the tumour had grown between the vertebrae in the toddler’s spine and removing it could have paralysed her.

Isabelle has just started chemotherapy and has been so brave despite the treatment making sick.

Miss Butler, 26, will do the events on three consecutive weekends – September 2, 9, and 15.

The peaks challenge is a 12 hour trek up Pen-y-ghent, Whernside and Ingleborough - climbing more than 7,000ft.

She will take part in a section of Leeds Country Way – which is a 62-mile run throughout the countryside, and will swim, cycle and run in Rother Valley’s triathlon.

Miss Butler said: “Isabelle is such a brave little girl and the hospital has been fantastic. I just wanted to do something to help and thought this was the best way. I hope we can raise a lot of money so the hospital can continue to help other like Isabelle.”

The inspirational little girl also had to have a blood and platelet transfusion after contracting a water infection and never once complained.

Isabelle’s mum Kelly Touhey, 34, said: “Our world has been turned upside down since we go the news but are trying to be strong for her and our older daughter, Lia.

“The kindness and support we have received from family and friends has been incredible. We are so touched that Katie is undertaking such a big challenge to raise money for the ward and to raise awareness of neuroblastoma.”

To sponsor Miss Butler visit www.justgiving.com/Katie-Butler1.

Alternately call the Express office 01977 642214 or visit us at 1 Front Street, Pontefract.