A MOTHER is walking the perimeter of the IW — around 70 miles — in memory of her daughter who died aged three after battling a rare and aggressive cancer.

Kalie Smith, mother of Summer Tiffin, is being joined by her sisters Kim Cook and Shainee Johnson on her walking challenge.

Summer died in December 2008, after a brave two year battle with a rare form of cancer called Rhabdomyosarcoma.

Kalie said: "During her short life, Summer endured a lot of treatment, and whilst we were on this awful journey, we found that there was little support for families, making an incredibly difficult situation even tougher to cope with.

"In 2014, another local child, Joe Ellis, lost his battle with Non Hodgkins Lymphoma.

"Having experienced the same lack of support, Joe’s family set up the Joe Ellis Trust in order to fill the gap in provision for other families through the nightmare they are faced with when their child is diagnosed with cancer.

"Our goal is to raise a minimum of £1,000 in sponsorships to enable the trust to continue offering support within the hospital setting, and also financially, to those families experiencing the same tragic circumstances as we did.

"We are also hoping to raise some funds for St Mary’s Hospital children’s ward, where Summer spent much of her life, to enable them to obtain and upgrade some of their play equipment.

"My two sisters and I have completed fund raising events in the past, but none to the magnitude of the challenge we have set for ourselves this time."

Kalie, Kim and Shainee will start on August 9 and hope to complete the challenge in three days, camping along the way.

Kalie said: "Alongside the three of us being full-time working mothers, we are training whenever we can, walking and running on a daily basis, with long distance walks at the weekends, the distance of which we have been increasing each week.

"We are apprehensive due to the sheer magnitude of walking that we will be undertaking in such a short timeframe, which is the equivalent of the full Walk the Wight course three times over.

"However, being as strongly determined as we are, I have every faith that my sisters and I will continue to push ourselves to complete the challenge, even if it means crawling over the finish line.

"Thinking about what my precious daughter and other children with cancer have had to endure on a daily basis, aching muscles and blistered feet is a small comparison to the immense battles these children go through on a daily basis in the fight for their lives."

To donate, visit www.justgiving.com/fundraising/kalie-smith

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