Published: April 25, 2022 | Updated: April 26, 2022

Mia, six, inspires 16-strong legal team to take part in walk, run & relay Brainathlon challenge

Nine of the 16 staff at Laceys Solicitors taking part in this week’s Brainathlon.
By Andrew Diprose, editor

A six-year-old who passed away from a brain tumour has inspired 16 colleagues at a Bournemouth law firm to take on this week’s Brainathlon.

The walk, run and relay challenge is supporting three of the UK’s leading neurological research charities.

Mia Hankins, of Wimborne, pictured left, was diagnosed with a brain tumour on November 11, 2020.

She underwent surgery at Southampton Children’s Hospital on November 20 but, despite the best efforts of medics, Mia never came round from the operation.

She passed away the following day, just ten days after her diagnosis.

Her family subsequently set up a fundraising group under the umbrella of Brain Tumour Research called Mia’s Pegasus Fund to help find better outcomes for brain tumour patients and, ultimately, a cure.

To date it has raised around £22,230 through a variety of events and challenges including bake sales and the national Three Peaks Challenge.

Now, Mia’s aunt Laura Hankins, and 15 of her colleagues at Laceys Solicitors, are taking part in Brainathlon to raise vital funds to support Brain Tumour Research, Brain Research UK and Epilepsy Research UK.

Laura, 31, a Trainee Solicitor, pictured left, said: “Mia’s story is totally heartbreaking.

“She was such a brave and beautiful girl, loved so dearly by her family.

“She was able to prolong the lives of three others in need through organ donation, making us even more proud of the caring and amazing young lady she was.”

Throughout Brainathlon Week, which began on Monday and continues until Sunday May 1, the Laceys team will complete the 26.2 miles of the challenge by walking ten miles, running 15 miles and climbing 1.2 miles (by walking up 2,500 stairs or equivalent).

Sam Burnand, Laceys’ Marketing Manager, pictured right, said: Laceys is immensely proud of the large number of staff who have put themselves forward to take part in the Brainathlon challenge inspired by Laura’s niece Mia.

“On top of this, the partners have generously committed to adding an extra £1,000 to the final fundraising total.

“We have been in training with walks on Tuesday and Thursday lunchtimes along the beach.

“Our programme for Brainathlon week will be a five-mile run on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, stair-climbing on Tuesday and Thursday and a ten-mile walk followed by a picnic on Saturday.

“We have also invited families and dogs of the colleagues taking part to join in the fun of the walk and picnic.”

Mel Tiley, Community Development Manager, Brain Tumour Research, said: We are indebted to Laceys Solicitors and Mia’s Pegasus Fund for their support in the fight to find a cure for brain tumours.

“Mia’s story reminds us that just 12.5 per cent of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50 per cent across all cancers.

“We cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.

“Brain Tumour Research is determined to change outcomes for brain tumour patients and ultimately find a cure.”

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically just one per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to the devastating disease.

To support Laceys Brainathlon fundraising, please click here.