Sisters raise more than £5,000 for Kidney Cancer UK after losing their dad

Nine year old Sophia and eleven year old Charlotte Tomsett have raised £5,192 for the cancer charity after losing their father to the condition earlier this year.

Tuesday, 30th March 2021, 5:59 pm
Updated Tuesday, 6th April 2021, 3:38 pm
Sophia and Charlotte cross the finishing line on their last day. Photo by Kirstee Porter

To do it, the sisters ran a mile a day for 28 days- the same amount of time their dad spent in hospital- collecting sponsorships via an online appeal.

The siblings, who live in Bognor Regis, had originally planned to raise £250 for the cancer charity but eclipsed that early target in a matter of days.

Kirstee Porter, their aunt, said she and the family were ‘absolutely blown away’ by the magnitude of the response. “There was always that worry, because people are struggling financially, that it would fall a little bit flat.” She said, “But it turned out to be the right time. They’ve had a really tough year, especially since the summer, and they wanted something a bit positive. And it’s been such a great response from friends and family, which has just given them that boost when they were struggling.”

Sophia and Charlotte take a well-deserved break

It wasn’t just moral support, a keen runner herself, Mrs Porter said she and the rest of the family weren’t shy about lacing up their trainers and pounding the pavement themselves. “Every day, they had a little bit of a struggle to get out the door but, once they did it, they were always so proud of themselves,” she said, “and we’re all very proud of them. The whole family. We’ve all had a little stint running with them to help pick them up when they’ve struggled.”

Their father, Spencer Tomsett, was diagnosed with a rare form of kidney cancer last summer. The condition, called Transitional Cell Carcinoma, effects the urinary system and meant he would have to have his kidney removed.

He went to hospital that July, but the surgery didn’t work and he had to have several more operations, which kept him in hospital for 28 consecutive days. He sadly passed away on August 9 2020, aged 46, and without having been home to see his family.

Mrs Porter says the last year has been incredibly difficult, but the love and mutual support which saw the sisters through their daily run has endured, despite everything.

“It’s been very tough for them,” she said, “but, for such young shoulders, they’ve been amazing. They’ve really supported their mum, who’s an incredible woman, and they’ve really worked as a little unit, they’ve really looked after each other.”
“For such young girls, they’ve been very mature. When they found things tough, they’ve still been supportive of each other.