13 Jun 2014

In loving memory of Jessica Hope Gauntley

Jessica Hope Gauntley 

A group of friends from Nottingham are trekking 84 miles along the Hadrian’s Wall Path this July in a bid to raise awareness of brain cancer.

Dubbed the ‘Monty Crew’, the team of eight will be raising funds for The Jessica Hope Foundation – a charity set up in memory of Jessica Gauntley, a close friend of their daughters’.

A big appetite for life and adventure

Jessica Hope Gauntley was a 15-year old girl with a big appetite for life and adventure. Her love of the outdoors and fearless spirit saw her seek out the most thrilling of adventures. Whether parapenting off mountains in the French Alps, surfing the Cornish waves or tackling the trickiest of ski slopes, Jessica was undaunted.

On the 27th of April 2012, after suddenly falling ill with headaches and vomiting, Jessica was admitted to hospital. Tests revealed a large tumour deep in her brain.

Whilst an emergency operation removed some of the tumour, further tests showed it to be Anaplastic Astrocytoma - an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Strong determination

Despite struggling through operations, weeks of radiotherapy and months of grueling chemotherapy, Jessica’s voracious energy meant she not only completed her silver Duke of Edinburgh training expedition but also managed to return to school in September.

Over Christmas that year it was discovered that the tumour had developed more aggressively. She had a further major operation in early January. Sadly, at this point there was no hope of a cure.

Only ten months after diagnosis, at the tender age of 16, Jessica lost her fight and died peacefully at home on 26th February 2013.

Raising awareness of brain tumours

Set up by Jessica’s parents, Karen and John Gauntley, The Jessica Hope Foundation aims to promote public awareness of the signs and symptoms of brain tumours in children and young adults.

Monies raised are used to fund vital research into the prevention, treatment and cure of brain tumours.

Donations are also given to a number of related charities including HeadSmart and the Children’s Brain Tumour Research Centre at the University of Nottingham.

MyDonate: “the best value for a small charity”

Explaining their choice of fundraising website Karen said: “We settled on MyDonate after doing some online research. We consider MyDonate to be the best value for a small charity like our own. Similar websites took too much money – leaving less to go directly to the causes donors are kindly giving to.”

Donate to the Monty Crew’s fundraising page

Learn more about the Jessica Hope Foundation

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