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Couple keep daughter’s memory alive

531. Karen Gauntley
532. John Gauntley

A husband and wife volunteer team from Nottingham have worked tirelessly to raise more than £250k for young sufferers of brain cancer.

Karen and John Gauntley, 53 and 51, from Long Eaton were inspired to set up ‘The Jessica Hope Foundation’ as a tribute to their daughter. Jessica was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2012 aged 15 and passed away only ten months later.

The Jessica Hope Foundation raises public awareness of brain tumours, which kill one child every three days in the UK and is the country’s biggest cancer killer of children and adults under 40. The foundation funds vital research into the treatment of brain tumours in young people. They also purchase items and equipment for the Children’s and Young Adult’s Oncology Ward at QMC, Nottingham as well organising gifts, trips and outings to brighten the lives of local young people living with cancer.

On the day of launch, the charity raised over £12,000 and it was attended by hundreds of people. They have undertaken a London to Paris bike ride and have funded a number of theatre, concert and restaurant trips for teenagers who are undergoing treatment.

Prime Minister David Cameron said:

“Through the Jessica Hope Foundation, Karen and John Gauntley are making a real difference to the lives of young people living with cancer. Their brilliant fundraising efforts help brighten the days of the young people they support. By organising exciting trips and outings to theatres, concerts and restaurants, they are helping these young people enjoy activities in the same way as their friends. They have also raised a huge amount of money to fund research into treatment for brain tumours. I’m delighted to recognise Karen and John’s incredible service by making them the UK’s 531st and 532nd Points of Light.”

Local Erewash MP Maggie Throup said:

“I am sure everyone will wish to join with me and congratulate Mr and Mrs Gauntley on receiving this award. Despite losing Jessica to brain cancer, they have put their sadness to one side and have thought only about helping others. The Jessica Hope Foundation, through its fundraising, has undoubtedly made the lives of many young people suffering from cancer much more bearable. They fully deserve this award.”

The daily Points of Light award recognises outstanding individual volunteers - people who are making a change in their community.

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