BRAVE family and friends of a Bognor Regis woman who died from a brain tumour have abseiled to raise money for research into the condition.
Gareth Bridger and Stuart Brown, the husband and brother of Rachel Bridger, raised more than £2,000 for Brain Tumour Research.
They climbed down the UK’s tallest sculpture – the 114.5m high AcelorMittal Orbit in London’s Queen Elizabeth Country Park – to mark the first anniversary of Rachel’s death.
They were joined by two of Rachel’s friends – Laura Dabbs, from Northchapel, and Midhurst resident Simon Greet.
Gareth, 40, said: “It was a big challenge to complete the abseil but it was something myself, Stuart, Laura and Simon were honoured to do for this important cause.
“We want to raise money for Brain Tumour Research with the hope that other people will not have to go through what Rachel did.
“It is only by raising funds into the research into brain tumours that there is hope of a cure.
“Ultimately, it would be incredible if, when my kids are adults, there is a cure to this awful disease.”
Mother-of-two Rachel, 36, began to complain about painful headaches in March 2017. Two months later, she experienced two seizures.
One of them sent her into a coma and resulted in her being put on life support. It was only then she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma – a highly aggressive brain tumour – and passed away the next day.
Rachel worked as a healthcare assistant at Petworth Cottage Nursing Home and left behind her two young children, Ollie, 11, and Lily, six, alongside her husband.
Laura, 28, said: “I was inspired to raise funds to prevent others suffering the way that Rachel and her family did.
“The abseil was a huge success and it was great to see so many people supporting us and raising money for this great charity.
“It was so awful to see Rachel and her family suffer, and there are so many other families that have to go through the same.
“Rachel was such an amazing friend and her loss was truly devastating.
The money raised by the abseilers will go towards Brain Tumour Research’s pioneering network of dedicated centres of excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.
Janice Wright, the charity’s community fundraising manager, said: “Brain tumours are indiscriminate. They can affect anyone, at any age, at any time.
“We are extremely grateful to Laura, Gareth, Stuart and Simon, and are pleased they had such a successful event.
“We hope they have inspired others to consider holding their own events, helping us to spread the word about this terrible disease.”
Donations in memory of Laura can be made at:justgiving.co./fundraising/laura-dabbs