Celebrating Hope and Community: Isla and her school’s inspiring journey in the fight against brain tumours.

October 10, 2023

On Thursday, October 5th, 2023, a heartwarming event unfolded at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence in Plymouth. Isla, along with her family and Dominic Shillabeer, Headteacher of Axbridge CofE First School, were extended a gracious invitation to this remarkable institution.

Isla’s story is one of remarkable courage and determination. In February 2022, she faced the formidable challenge of surgery and treatment for a rare and aggressive brain tumour. Her journey inspired not only her immediate family but also the entire Axbridge First School community.

In June 2023, Axbridge First School rallied behind Isla’s cause by organising a spirited fun run. This event was more than just a race; it was a testament to the power of unity and compassion. The school community, fueled by a shared commitment to making a difference, managed to raise an impressive sum of approximately £3000 for the Wallace and Gromit Foundation, a Bristol children’s hospital charity, and another £3000 for Brain Tumour Research.

The significance of this fundraising effort cannot be understated. Their collective dedication provided the necessary funding to sponsor a full day of research at the Brain Tumour Research Centre of Excellence in Plymouth. This contribution became a beacon of hope, a tangible symbol of the school’s unwavering support for the fight against brain tumours.

As a poignant and touching gesture of recognition, Isla, her family, and Dominic Shillabeer were invited to place a tile on the “Wall of Hope” at the research centre. This wall, adorned with tributes and acknowledgments, stands as a poignant reminder of the ongoing battle against this devastating disease. It serves as a testament to the compassion and determination of individuals and communities who refuse to yield to adversity.

The visit to the research centre provided a rare glimpse into the world of scientific dedication and innovation. It showcased the tireless efforts of researchers who strive day in and day out to find a cure for brain tumours. For Isla and her family, it was not just a tour; it was a profound connection to the vital research that holds the promise of a brighter future.

In the face of adversity, the Axbridge School community rose to the occasion, demonstrating that even the smallest acts of kindness and solidarity can have a profound impact. Their journey from a fun run to the heart of cutting-edge research was a testament to the power of hope, unity, and the unwavering human spirit in the face of adversity.