A student from Thornborough who overcame a brain tumour is preparing to take part in a tough mudder challenge in aid of two charities.
Flora Bouchier, 19, is taking part in the challenge next month in aid of Brain Tumour Research and Epilepsy Action.
Flora, who was diagnosed with the illness following a seizure while studying for her A-levels at the Royal Latin School in Buckingham, has now recovered from the tumour following surgery.
She is taking part in the Tough Mudder London West event near Henley next month alongside her brother Henry, 21, and friends Ruby Morris, 22, and Ellie Coppins, 21, who she has known since they started at Thornborough Primary School together.
As part of the Tough Mudder challenge, the quartet will be battling their way through plenty of mud, and will be faced with 25 large obstacles scattered over an eight to ten-mile course.
Flora, who is currently in the second year of a chemical engineering degree at the University of Nottingham said: “I am really excited and looking forward to the challenge, although I am slightly concerned about my ankle which I sprained badly while playing rugby recently.
"Luckily, I am now starting to walk again without crutches and Ruby, Ellie and Henry have assured me that, if necessary, they are happy to go at a slower pace."
Reflecting on her illness Flora said: "Nearly four years ago I started experiencing strange feelings of nausea, hot flushes and partial seizures, but it wasn’t until five months later when I had a tonic-clonic seizure that I was diagnosed with a low-grade brain tumour.
“Fortunately, following surgery and a lengthy recovery period, I now feel fantastic, am seizure-free and back driving again.
"I feel the fittest I have ever been."
As well as supporting Brain Tumour Research, the four friends are also getting muddy in aid of Epilepsy Action in memory of Merryn Allen, also from Thornborough, who died, aged 10, in May 2009, after contracting epilepsy.
Flora said: "We are taking part in this crazy challenge because on the one hand I am one of the lucky ones to survive a brain tumour diagnosis and on the other hand, a lovely local family lost their gorgeous ten-year-old daughter, who I was first introduced to aged six by Ellie and Ruby.
“I have some lovely memories of time spent camping at Ruby’s family’s farm with other families including Ellie’s, Merryn’s and my own.
"We would have great fun tie-dyeing t-shirts, playing in the pond and hurtling down a makeshift water slide together.
“I hope that people continue to donate generously and we manage to exceed our target of £1,000 to be split equally between our two chosen charities.”
Merryn’s mum Lisa, who lives in Thornborough with husband Tristan and Merryn’s sister Cleo, now aged 14, said: “We are grateful to Flora, Henry, Ruby and Ellie for thinking of Merryn and we wish them well in their challenge.
"We have many memories of the children playing together as they grew up. Merryn was beautiful, bright, energetic, funny, joyful and courageous, a child full of love.
"She died from sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP), just three months after her first seizure.
“The money raised in her memory helps to educate and raise awareness of epilepsy and its effects, both for those who live with it daily and those whose death it causes.”
Paula Rastrick, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research in the central region added: “We are extremely grateful to Flora and her Thornborough team and wish them all the best of luck in their tough mudder, inspired by Flora’s brain tumour experience and the tragic loss of Merryn.”
To sponsor the tough mudder team visit https://uk.virginmoneygiving.com/FloraBouchier