Veteran goes the extra mile walking 400-mile route from Bournemouth to South Tyneside to help find cure to save the life of five-year-old cousin Sophia Shaw
Forces veteran Jordan Main-Thorpe has shown he is willing to go the extra mile to help save the life of his cousin, five-year-old Sophia Shaw, after completing a gruelling 400-mile fundraising trek from his home town in Bournemouth to Dougie’s Tavern pub in Hebburn.
Jordan, 38, completed his 20 mile-a-day challenge on Sunday (October 9), raising over £3,000 to help the family’s quest to pursue alternative treatments and find a cure for a tumour on Sophia’s spine which doctors at Newcastle RVI said can’t be completely removed by conventional treatments.
After an operation in 2020 to remove a brain tumour, parents Matt and Tracy Shaw were devastated when doctors discovered the new tumour, but are determined to do all they can to maximise Sophia’s quality of life and have not given hope on the cancer going into remission.
Mother Tracey Shaw, 33, said: “We believe we can find a cure and are aware of cases where people have gone into remission from cancers by the use of alternative treatments.
"We’ve been attending the Bertram Clinic in London and have learnt so much about Sophia’s DNA, the deficiencies she may have and any potential cancer-causing viruses which can be targeted.”
Sophia has undergone pioneering treatments such as targeted nutritional foods, high dose vitamin C injections, a bio-resonance scan and a hyperbaric chamber in which high doses of oxygen target cancer cells.
The family hope to take Sophia to an alternative treatment centre in Turkey
After being told in November 2021 about the return of the cancer, dad Matt, 40, who works as a sports and health therapist, feels the pioneering treatments are already starting to bear fruit.
He said: “Further radiotherapy or surgery to reduce the tumour was going to be very dangerous. We’ve already seen massive improvements in Sophia. She’s now in school full-time and she’s started ballet classes and climbing again.”
However, with treatment having to be paid for privately and often involving trips overseas to the USA, Poland and Germany, the family are spending between £1,500 and £3,000 each month – something they couldn’t afford if it wasn’t for the support of people like Jordan.
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Jordan said: “While myself and Tracy are cousins, we’d never met until I arrived at their Durham home yesterday on the last stage of my walk. It was great to meet Tracy and amazing to see Sophia.
"I’d seen on Facebook about Sophia’s plight. It really pulled on my heart strings and I wanted to do something to help – we are related by blood. I initially thought about about donating but I also wanted to do something a little crazy which would draw attention to Sophia’s situation and so I set up a GoFundMe page and started walking.
"It also allowed me to meet Sophia and the rest of the family. I’m extremely positive and I’m sure we can find a cure.”
Tracy added: “I wouldn’t have believed someone we’d never met would do something so big to help Sophia. She already can’t stop talking about her new uncle Jordan.”
In the last 12 months, close to £30,000 has been raised including around £20,000 by a range of initiatives by Dougie’s Tavern where Sophia’s grandfather Bobby Park, 69, is a regular.
Anyone who can help should contact Matt on [email protected]