Olympic abseil one year after ‘truly devastating’ loss of Bognor mum

Gareth Bridger, Stuart Brown, Laura Dabbs and Simon Greet at the bottom of the massive sculpture
Gareth Bridger, Stuart Brown, Laura Dabbs and Simon Greet at the bottom of the massive sculpture

Family and friends took on an abseiling challenge to mark a year since mum-of-two Rachel Bridger’s death.

Gareth Bridger and Stuart Brown, Rachel’s husband and brother, were joined by friends as they descended down the UK’s tallest sculpture.

Gareth said: “We wanted to raise money for Brain Tumour Research with the hope that other people will not have to go hrough what Rachel did.”

Rachel, 36, from Bognor, began complaining about painful headaches in March last year.

In May, she experienced two seizures, one of which sent her into a coma and resulted in her being put on life support.

It was only then that she was diagnosed with a glioblastoma – a highly aggressive brain tumour – and died the next day.

Rachel, who worked as a healthcare assistant at Petworth Cottage Nursing home, left behind her two young children Ollie and Lily.

To raise money for the charity, Gareth and Stuart decided to abseil down the ArcelorMittal Orbit sculpture at the Olympic Park in London, together with two of Rachel’s friends, Laura Dabbs and Simon Greet.

Gareth said: “It was a big challenge to complete the abseil but something myself, Stuart, Laura and Simon were honoured to do for this important cause.”

Laura, 28, said: “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.

“I was inspired to raise funds to prevent others suffering the way that Rachel and her family did.”

Janice Wright, community fundraising manager at Brain Tumour Research, 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.”

The money raised will help fund the charity’s network of dedicated centres of excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.

So far the group has raised £2,385.00.

Click here to visit their JustGiving page.