The family of a child who sadly died of a brain tumour has set themselves the challenge of a coast-to-coast walk to raise money for a charity that helped them through their grief.

Emily Smith tragically died in August 2022, two weeks after an MRI scan revealed that she had a brain tumour.

Her school had just broken up for the summer holidays, and the family had gone on holiday to the Suffolk coast when she became unable to use her right arm normally.


Despite it not bothering her too much to begin with, the next day, the feeling had spread to her right leg.

Worried, Emily's parents dialled 111 and were sent to their nearest hospital.

Herts Advertiser: Emily sadly died two weeks after her diagnosis.Emily sadly died two weeks after her diagnosis. (Image: Tom's Trust)

Although her symptoms were still mild, Emily was sent for an MRI scan to be sure.

It was then that her brain tumour was discovered, and plans were made to remove as much as possible.

However, while in hospital Emily deteriorated quickly, as the tumour began to swell and bleed.

Herts Advertiser: Emily did not wake from her emergency surgery.Emily did not wake from her emergency surgery. (Image: Tom's Trust)

She was taken for emergency surgery, which sadly, she did not wake up from.

One year on, her parents Sarah and Andy Smith - along with her 12-year-old brother, Harry - are taking on the challenge of walking from St Bees, Cumbria, to Robin Hood’s Bay, North Yorkshire.


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Andy, who works as a physiotherapist, said: “With Sarah being a teacher and this being Harry’s first summer holiday without Emily, we see this challenge as a focus away from the pain of losing her during the long six-week break.

Herts Advertiser: Emily Smith and her family.Emily Smith and her family. (Image: Tom's Trust)

"We wanted to use our summer holiday to do something like this; it makes it all so much more meaningful and purposeful.

"It feels like Emily’s going to be a part of it.

"We never wanted to live this life without her, but we need to learn how to live our lives now, and this gives us a small step towards doing that.

Herts Advertiser: The Smith family on a practice walk.The Smith family on a practice walk. (Image: Tom's Trust)

“Being outdoors is important to us as a family and it’s helpful to us being back in nature. We’ve got fond memories of the Lake District, where we had several family holidays, so we can picture Emily walking along with us.

"We have been back to the Lakes a couple of times already and found countless heart-shaped stones in the paths which really felt like Emily joining us.

"It’s one of those special places where we all feel connected to her."

The walk is in aid of Tom’s Trust, the children’s brain tumour charity that has been helping the family through their grief.

Herts Advertiser: The family have already raised over £4,000.The family have already raised over £4,000. (Image: Tom's Trust)

Speaking of the charity, Andy continued: "Angela, the family's Tom's Trust psychologist, has been the most amazing support to us throughout the worst time of our lives, helping us try to bear the unbearable loss of our daughter.

"It helps that Angela had met Emily on the ward before she died and also spent time with us both, and Harry, before Emily’s collapse.

"Harry trusts her and can talk to her and she really understands him, they have a special bond."

The family's JustGiving page can be found online at: