A grateful mum has crossed the line after running the distance of four marathons in just four weeks and raising over £1,090 for Birmingham Children’s Hospital, where her son received life-saving neurosurgery at the age of five.

Roxanne Hill, from Worcester, had trained hard to take part in the London Marathon but when she learnt the event was cancelled due to coronavirus, she took matters into her own hands. Keen to make sure the hospital’s charity didn’t miss out on her fundraising, Roxanne created her own 104.8 mile challenge to raise money and say thank you after her little boy, Alfie, underwent two operations to remove a mass from his brain.

Alfie was diagnosed with Pilocytic Astrocytoma, a slow-growing benign tumour on his brain, after a little bump to the head prompted a trip to the hospital. Alfe had been a little groggy and while doctors first suspected it could just be concussion, an MRI scan showed something much more sinister. Completely unrelated to his little accident, the scans revealed the shocking diagnosis.

Within an hour of receiving the news that tipped her life upside down, Roxanne and Alfie were transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital, and the next day surgeons performed an operation to remove as much of the tumour as they could. Roxanne was beside herself with worry as she waited eight gruelling hours for Alfie to come out of surgery but thankfully he came round smiling and determined to get better.

Unfortunately, last year doctors saw that the remaining tumour in in Alfie’s brain had started to grow again and that meant another long operation to remove even more. The second operation was torture for Roxanne. In the whirlwind of events at the start of Alfie’s journey, she had not had much time to take anything in, but this time, knowing what was to come felt scarier. As she prayed he would, in true Alfie style, he came around with another smile.

Now, at the age of nine, Alfie is back to his usual active self and, with only a very small amount of tumour on his brain, he even ran the last half mile of Roxanne’s last marathon, to help mark the three-year-anniversary of his very first surgery.

Roxanne said: “Seeing Alfie have to go through so much was absolutely terrifying but it meant we got to experience first-hand, how Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity help to make an awful situation the best it can be for families.

“Running gives me the time to think about how lucky we are and along with knowing I’ll have helped other families, that’s what kept me going through my challenge.”

Miranda Williams, head of public fundraising at Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, said: “Having your child admitted to hospital and undergo major surgery is understandably overwhelming and even more so when it’s completely unexpected. We’re so glad to hear that Alfie is doing well after his diagnosis and so grateful that Roxanne decided to channel the whole experience into helping us do more for other sick kids and their families.”

If you’ve been inspired to fundraise for Birmingham Children’s Hospital Charity, please contact us, or you would like to donate to its urgent COVID-19 Appeal you can do so here.