The mum of Alfie Jack Orton who was diagnosed with a Brain Tumour when he was only 5 years old is set to take on the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k to raise vital funds for Birmingham Children’s Hospital.
Roxanne Hill was devastated when she found out that her son Alfie had a brain tumour. She had taken Alfie to Worcester Royal Accident and Emergency as he was complaining of a headache following a bump to his head.
Doctors did a few basic tests but when Alfie was struggling they decided to send him for an MRI scan to rule out anything more serious. An hour later the family were told that he had a brain tumour.
Roxanne explains “We were called into a private room with the Doctor and a nurse, looking back now, I’m surprised that I hadn’t realised something was wrong then.
“We were told that something had shown up on the MRI and that unfortunately Alfie had a Brain Tumour.
“I felt crushed; my instant thought was that we were never going to take him home again.
“The doctor carried on talking but I couldn’t take in a word he said. I just sat in the chair thinking that we had already lost him.
“I even thought to myself that I wished I hadn’t taken him to the hospital that day and then I wouldn’t have been sat in that room.
“I know that sounds ridiculous because knowing meant that we could help him, but every irrational thought was going through my mind.
“After about 10minutes I just wanted to go back to Alfie. I didn’t care what was happening and I didn’t want to listen, I just wanted Alfie.”
Shortly after receiving this heart-breaking news they were transferred to Birmingham Children’s Hospital for further tests and surgery where the majority of the Tumour was removed.
As some of the tumour remains Alfie still visits Birmingham Children’s Hospital regularly for Neuro-Oncologists to monitor any growth or changes in the Tumour.
Roxanne hopes that Alfie will be able to live with the remaining Tumour without needing any further surgery.
Following the discovery of the Brain Tumour the whole families’ outlook on life has changed.
Roxanne explains “We’ve become even closer and really appreciate the little things.
“We make the most of the time we have together, because we realise how different things could be.”
Although Alfie is well in himself, Roxanne feels as though she is constantly looking out for any changes in his health or waiting for the next hospital date to arrive in the post.
Roxanne says that running has helped her cope immensely as it helps her to clear her mind and be strong for both Alfie and his brother.
She says “On days where I’ve felt like crying or shutting down, I go for a run instead and it puts everything back into perspective.”
Having completed marathons and half marathons over the past few years, Roxanne saw the Birmingham 10K advertised whilst she was at one of Alfie’s appointments in Birmingham Children’s Hospital and entered as soon as she got home.
She explains “When I’m running I feel like my body is working hard so my mind can just switch off.
“It helps me to forget everything else that’s going on around me and I just focus on my feet hitting the pavement.”
“I get a sense of achievement for each mile I that I run and it helps me to carry on.”
“Even on the days where the training has been tough, as soon as I finish and get back home I get a sense of pride, because I have pushed myself through the wall without stopping.”
Roxanne trains with her mum, Tracy, who is also running in the Great Birmingham 10K. Mum and Nana motivate each other to keep going and if they’re ever struggling they remind themselves why they are running. Tracy is a huge support to Roxanne, even when they aren’t out running.
The Great Birmingham 10K marks the 2 year anniversary since Alfie’s surgery. Tracy is planning to pin a picture of Alfie onto her running vest to motivate her during the run.
She says, “If Alfie can go through something so big, at such a young age, and for the rest of his life, then I know I can finish 10K.”
The family are so grateful to both Worcestershire Royal and Birmingham Children’s Hospital for everything that they have done, and continue to do, for Alfie and the family.
If you would like to support Roxanne and Tracy visit their fundraising page www.justgiving.com/Roxanne-Tracy
To enter the Simplyhealth Great Birmingham 10k click here