A big thanks to Team Tolly

A big thanks to Team Tolly

Wed 22 July

We're sending a huge thank you to everyone in Team Tolly including Lindsey, Craig, Jennifer, Mark, Alexander and Zoe who raised a total of £3,983.30 doing their cycle challenge in June.

Below, Lindsay shares Team Tolly's special story...


2018 was set to be the most exciting year for myself and my family. In June my Dad, Richard Tolson had just completed the 100 mile Prudential ride London. A few weeks later I gave birth to a little girl called Alice who was my Dads first Granddaughter. We named her after his Aunt, my great Aunt, which he loved. Dad was an outgoing person, a sports fanatic, he loved walking, cricket and golf. He was passionate about Yorkshire and had a Yorkshire white rose flag in his garden. He enjoyed a good pint of real ale and nice cup of Yorkshire tea. He was always arranging trips and get togethers with his friends. In fact, he was rarely at home. 


It was only 6 weeks after having Alice that Dad became poorly. At first we didn’t know what was making him ill but after a few tests he was diagnosed with a brain tumour. As you can imagine this was very difficult to digest, given that my grandmother passed away from the same illness in 1995. 


My Dad was always scared of hospitals and didn’t like to talk about health. He would even become faint at the sight of blood, therefore we were all concerned as to how he would cope with his treatment. Immediately from hearing his diagnosis and prognosis, he surprised us all. He summoned his inner fighting spirit and his well known competitive nature and was determined to give “Terry Tumour” what for. He was absolutely not going to give in to a bit of cancer. He definitely showed it who’s boss. 


Throughout his brain tumour journey, my Dad attended all of his treatments with a positive attitude and he continued to flirt with the nurses, something he always did. He was a charmer. At times he was understandably nervous about his condition as it was all unknown for him. The nurses and the consultant from his treating team were amazing with him and he felt so safe and cared for with them. The nurses told him about the Brain Tumour Charity in Leeds and Dad decided he wanted to speak to them. 


My Dad went from feeling nervous and anxious about his condition to feeling supported by the Brain Tumour charity and no longer alone in what he was going through. He received financial support with sorting out his benefits so he could continue to live as independently as he always had done. He attended the support groups each month in Leeds and he found these invaluable. He made some great friends and he found it comforting to be around people who were experiencing similar conditions as he was. He got to have a beer, a bit of banter and a laugh whilst there and that’s what he enjoyed most. 


Whilst being supported by the charity, my Dad felt he wanted to give something back in return. He wanted to support the charity that were supporting him. In May 2019 he decided to walk 10,000 steps every day. The family were in awe of him doing this. He was undergoing treatment, feeling fatigued at times and his eyesight was impaired but he was determined to do it. On the 31st May he completed his challenge with flying colours. He was ecstatic that he defied Terry Tumour and clearly was capable of anything. He raised a whopping £1292. 


In June my Dads condition deteriorated and he passed away peacefully surrounded by his family only three weeks after he finished his challenge. We were, and still are, incredibly proud of him and what he achieved. Throughout his illness he didn’t complain or moan about his situation and maintained that he would beat Terry Tumour. I strongly believe that he did. His personality didn’t change, his fighting spirit didn’t change and his well known competitive nature didn’t change. The tumour did not change Dad, therefore I believe he won that battle. 


In June 2020 I felt I wanted to mark the one year since he passed away by doing something positive. I’d had a long period of time grieving and I was ready to set myself a challenge in my Dads name. I created Team Tolson which was made up of Myself, Craig Largent, Mark Hitchcock, Zoe Hilton, Jennifer O’Donnell and Alex White. We decided we would cycle 10miles every day in June and we did just that. With Craig,Mark,Zoe and I cycling in Wakefield, Jennifer in Leeds and Alex in Cumbria we cycled 300 miles each throughout June. A total of 1800 miles which is the equivalent of cycling from Leeds to Sicily. Lockdown wouldn’t allow us to cycle abroad, so we were stuck to socially distant local routes with a trip to Dalby Forest one Sunday. Cycling to Italy would have been nice but the Yorkshire dales have beautiful ice creams.


Team Tolson raised a grand total of £4707 which we are all immensely proud of. As team captain I wanted to do this challenge in my Dads name, Richard Tolson. I want him to be remembered for how he fought during his illness. He didn’t want people to feel sorry for him and wouldn’t want people to think he “lost his battle.” He wanted something positive to come out of his illness. I want to continue with that positivity and to continue to raise money for the amazing Yorkshire’s Brain Tumour Charity. The support from the charity has been vital to my Dad and the family. I can’t thank them all enough for what they have done and continue to do. We wouldn’t have coped without you all. 

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