A police officer will be lacing up his walking shoes this weekend as he takes on a charity challenge in memory of his daughter.
In 2015 PC Graham Floyd sadly lost his daughter who, for eight years, battled a debilitating brain tumour.
Graham, based at Thorpe Wood Police Station, aims to raise awareness of brain tumours after his daughter Natasha passed away at the age of 24. She was first diagnosed when she was 16.
Graham said: “On 1 December 2015 my daughter Natasha died in my arms from a brain tumour. The tumour took a happy, achieving 16-year-old girl and in the space of 48 hours made her totally blind and terminally ill.
“Before this, Natasha was misdiagnosed for eight months which caused her to lose her sight completely.
“Although an early diagnosis would not have changed the terminal outcome, it would have allowed her to live her remaining years as any other young woman.”
At the end this month Graham, 52, was due to take part in a 62-mile charity walk across the Atlas Mountains and into the Sahara to raise money for the Brain Tumour Charity.
However, Graham’s shoulder was recently injured while making an arrest on duty and as a result he is currently unable to travel abroad.
Undeterred, however, Graham will instead be taking on a similar challenge in the UK.
Graham will be taking part in a challenge he calls the Great Fenland Police Plod, where he will be walking 74 miles in four days between four different police stations.
He said: “I will be doing this challenge alone and I will be walking carrying a 5ft pole with a flag and carrying a bucket for donations.”
Graham will start off his trek at Peterborough Police Station this Saturday (23 February) and hike to March Police Station.
On Sunday he will continue onto Ely Police Station and on this day, his journey will include a swim across the New Bedford River opposite Straight Drove in Coveney.
On 25 February Graham will walk from Ely to Parkside Police Station in Cambridge.
His charity challenge will finish at force HQ in Huntingdon on 26 February – the day of his 53rd birthday.
Graham added: “Before she passed away Natasha’s last wish was for her whole brain to be donated for research, and it was.
“I would love others to donate and help continue funding this vital work, because it’s true that every penny really does count.
“Your help will have a direct and positive effect on the work research scientists at the Brain Tumour Charity are carrying out.
“So far Natasha’s brain has allowed the team to make significant discoveries about the type of tumour and its characteristics.
“At the moment there is no cure and no treatment beyond making the inevitable more comfortable. We can change this.”
The Brain Tumour Charity funds research into brain tumours globally.
The charity is committed to saving and improving lives, with the aim of helping every single person affected by a brain tumour.
Sarah Lindsell, chief executive of The Brain Tumour Charity, said: “Since Graham lost Natasha – who was a much-loved Young Ambassador for The Brain Tumour Charity as well as a cherished daughter and friend – he’s inspired all of us here to keep doing whatever we can every single day to spare other families from the devastation he and his wife have faced.
“Graham may describe himself on his fundraising page as ‘unfit and overweight’ but he’s also fiercely determined.
“I have absolutely no doubt he’ll plod (and swim) on until he reaches Huntingdon, even if the going gets tough. We’re immensely grateful to him and to everyone who supports his efforts along the way.”
Graham is also supporting HeadSmart, an awareness campaign funded and promoted by the charity.
The campaign works to improve diagnosis times by informing and empowering parents and professionals to spot the early signs and symptoms of brain tumours.
For more information about Graham’s police plod challenge, or to donate, visit his JustGiving page here: https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/graham-floyd3
For more about the Brain Tumour Charity, visit their website at: https://www.thebraintumourcharity.org/