‘A couple of pulled muscles is nothing compared to what Izzi is going through’ – Family and friends of five-year-old Stevenage girl with cancer take on Tough Mudder challenge to send her to Disney

Five-year-old Izzi Ferns from Stevenage pictured with mum Kerry and the Tough Mudder team.

Five-year-old Izzi Ferns from Stevenage pictured with mum Kerry and the Tough Mudder team. - Credit: Archant

The mother of a five-year-old Stevenage girl with cancer says she is overwhelmed by the fundraising efforts of family and friends to get her daughter to Disney World.

Fighter Izzi Ferns is the family's inspiration for competiting in the Tough Mudder challenge, so the

Fighter Izzi Ferns is the family's inspiration for competiting in the Tough Mudder challenge, so they can get her to Disney World when her cancer treatment is complete. - Credit: Archant

After youngster Izzi Ferns was diagnosed with leukaemia last year – undergoing greulling bouts of chemotherapy and steroid treatment – her cousins Dean and Adam Bannister banded together a 24-strong group of family and friends, including Izzi’s dad Jon, 32, to take part in the Tough Mudder 2016 obstacle course.

They hope that competing in the 12-mile challenge on April 30, combined with other money-spinning events including a six-a-side football tournament and an upcoming fitness fundraising day, will allow them to raise £10,000 to send Izzi, sister Emma, two, and their parents on ‘a magical and laughter-filled trip’ to the Florida resort.

Dean, 34, said: “ We have been training for a few months, there have been a few injuries but they’re working through them and no one has pulled out – we’re all excited and raring to go.”

British Gas engineer Dean added: “I sent a massive group email at work and I’ve had donations from colleagues I’ve never met. Everyone is behind us.”


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Team member Mark Hollis, 32, a project planner, said: “A fitness event like this is something which I’d usually avoid but having known the family for so long and knowing what Izzi is going through meant that I couldn’t say no.

“A couple of pulled muscles and few days of aching is nothing compared to what she is going through at such a young age.

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“Being able to send her off to Disney to meet her favourite princesses is something which is driving on all of the group to go out and try to push themselves harder in training.”

Mum Kerry, 28, said: “Izzi has still got a year and a half left of the chemotherapy and steroids but she’s doing really well.

“For me it’s unbelievable what the fundraisers are doing, I don’t even know half of the people involved because they’re friends of friends.

“It takes your breath away seeing how much people care.”

The fitness fundraiser will be made up of a live DJ, different training masterclasses and a raffle with prizes donated by local businesses and will take place on Friday, April 22, at Dominate gym in Wedgwood Way. Call 01438 725076 to get your hands on the last few tickets.

To donate to Izzi’s cause, go to www.gofundme.com and search ‘getizzitodisney’.

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