South Wootton boy is running in memory of his sister

Maddie Leveille who died weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour
Maddie Leveille who died weeks after being diagnosed with a brain tumour

A South Wootton boy will be completing running in memory of his late sister at the weekend.

Eight-year-old Luke Leveille will be running the mini Grand East Anglian Run on Sunday to honour his sister Maddie, who would have turned 18 this year.

Maddie died when she was just seven-years-old, shortly after being diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2004.

Sadly Luke never got to meet his sister but is hoping to raise hundreds of pounds for the Anna’s Hope charity in her name.

Their parents Adam and Julie, of South Wootton, along with older brother Nathan, are hoping to raise awareness of brain tumours along with supporting the Stamford-based charity.

Mrs Leveille said: “We are really proud of Luke for doing this.

“He is so much like his sister and he was our miracle child.

“We want to raise awareness as childhood brain tumours are one of the biggest cancer killers of children and young people.”

Maddie was diagnosed in March 2004 after her eye turned inwards. Initially it was thought that this was an after-effect of an earlier operation to remove her tonsils.

But Maddie, who had not shown any symptoms other than being tired, was found to have an aggressive tumour attached to her brain stem.

Nine weeks later Maddie died at her Middleton home surrounded by her family on May 27, 2004, seven days after her seventh birthday.

Mrs Leveille said: “We were completely numb. I got through it thanks to my husband and Nathan.

“Maddie has left a huge gap in our lives and we miss her every day, especially Nathan.

“She was a such a sweet natured little girl.”

Sporty Luke, who attends South Wootton Primary School and plays football for the Woottons team, came up with the idea of running the 1.5 mile fun run course for his sister.

He will be running alongside Mr Leveille on Sunday, their numbers are 345 and 346 respectively.

Mrs Leveille said: “If you notice a slight turn in your child’s eye or your child is having more headaches in a week than normal go to the doctor.”

Anna’s Hope aims to provide nursing and emotional support to young patients and their families along with funding research.

The charity, founded by Rob and Carole Hughes, is also one of the groups supporting the UK’s first rehabilitation service for children with brain tumours at Cambridge.

To support Luke donate go to: http://annas-hope.co.uk/donate/