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Manchester Foundation
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Middleton Dad takes on gruelling challenges to thank Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital for daughter’s cancer care

Paul in front of a cafe he spotted with his daughter's name

Wednesday 19th June 2024
  • Paul Tierney to take on cycle ride to Blackpool and back to raise money for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and Ward 86
  • Brave daughter Lottie, 8, brain tumour and cancer treatment inspired dad Paul to give back with gruelling challenges

Thursday 2nd November 2023 is a date that will stay with Paul Tierney forever.

The day began normally enough, until Paul received a video message from his daughter’s mother, Claire, saying that their daughter, Lottie, 7, couldn’t put weight on her left foot. Her left arm was also numb. After a call to 111, Claire was advised to go to A&E.

Paul arrived at Royal Oldham Hospital A&E expecting to be back for dinner, but four hours and a CT scan later, Lottie was diagnosed with a brain tumour. They were transferred to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital and further tests confirmed what doctors suspected. The tumour was big, measuring 6 x 4 x 4cm.

Four days later, Lottie underwent a seven-hour operation to have the tumour removed. The operation was deemed successful, with surgeons removing as much of the tumour as possible. Biopsy results however found that the tumour was malignant, with Lottie further being diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Ewing Sarcoma. The diagnosis meant Lottie, now 8, would need to go through chemotherapy and radiotherapy. To date, Lottie has bravely completed 13 out of 14 cycles of chemotherapy and 30 sessions of proton beam therapy treatment.

Despite what has been a difficult and scary time, Lottie has remained positive and upbeat throughout - even doing her own fundraising and selflessly donating her ponytail for a charity that provides real hair wigs for children who have lost their hair through cancer. Her positivity has also inspired her school, Crompton Primary, to raise money by selling donuts and cancer awareness ribbons.

Thankful for Lottie’s treatment and wanting to give back to Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital - part of Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) – and the ward (Ward 86) that has been instrumental in Lottie’s care, Paul is taking on a host of gruelling charity events. A twelve-hour golf event on Friday June 21 will be followed by a gruelling 200km group bike ride from Manchester to Blackpool and back on Sunday 14 July, with his fundraising team, Lottie’s Legends.

Paul says: “All the nurses and staff have been amazing looking after Lottie – this is why I want to give something back.”

A keen charity fundraiser, Paul tries to give a bit back to good causes every year. His first experience fundraising for charity was inspired by a close friend’s brain tumour diagnosis and it was this fundraising that ignited his passion for cycling, with his fundraising now going “full circle.”

Training for the bike ride around Lottie’s treatment has been difficult, but Paul is determined to make it count, with a mixture of static bike training and challenging climbs around North Manchester.

Paul says: “Finding time is harder than the training. When you’re not in hospital, you just want to rest as it’s very tiring, both physically and mentally, but I know I have to get some miles in the legs whenever the opportunity arises.”

“I went out recently in the rain and got caught in some torrential downpours. I felt like turning back and going home but had to remind myself why I’m doing the ride and it kind of puts it all in perspective.”

The local community has rallied around Paul and Lottie too, with local businesses Beechfield Brands, Equilibrium Financial Planning, Fletchers Engineering, Healey Consulting and Rotork sponsoring the yellow Le Col cycling jerseys Paul has had specially made for the ride. Sponsorship was aided by the help of Paul’s close friend since junior school, Nick Cooke, with Nick’s design and sponsorship knowledge skills invaluable in the creation of the jerseys.

Paul says: “Support from friends and strangers has been incredible. A good friend of mine gave me a signed Kevin De Bruyne Manchester City shirt to sell for the charity. I decided to do a raffle and within a week, I had sold 1772 tickets which raised an extra £3,585 for the cause.

“Also, one of the nurses on Ward 86, her dad is a keen cyclist and is hoping to join us on the ride to Blackpool which is brilliant.”

Jo Thomas, Relationship Officer at Manchester Foundation Trust (MFT) Charity: “We’re extremely grateful for Paul’s determination and commitment to fundraising for Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital. No stone has been left unturned when it comes to Paul harnessing the kindness and support of his local community and we wish him and his team the best of luck for their upcoming golf day and cycle ride.”

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