Blackpool dad whose daughter has brain tumour abseils down Trafford Centre tower to help find disease cure

A Blackpool man whose daughter has an incurable brain tumour abseiled down the Trafford Centre’s Barton Tower dressed as a Power Ranger to help find a cure for the disease.

Keith Walsh, 70, abseiled 170 feet down the tower, at Trafford, Manchester, on Saturday (June 25) to raise funds for national charity Brain Tumour Research after his daughter Zara Taylor was diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma (GBM) following several seizures.

Zara, also from Blackpool and married to Josh Taylor, was aged just 30 when she received her diagnosis.

Zara, now 31, underwent surgery at the Royal Preston Hospital in February 2021 during the pandemic when no visitors were allowed, followed by radiotherapy and chemotherapy treatment.

Keith Walsh, dressed as a Power Ranger, with daughter Zara Taylor, who has an incurable brain tumour

She also receives private treatment through the Care Oncology Clinic in Harley Street, London.

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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 this devastating disease.

Having recently set up a Fundraising Group under the umbrella of Brain Tumour Research called Zara’s Appeal for a Cure, which has already raised almost £15,500, Zara said: “Dad is amazing.

Keith Walsh, dressed as a Power Ranger, abseiling down Barton Tower at the Trafford Centre.

"I can’t believe he actually abseiled down the Barton Tower. I was almost tempted to join him until I saw the tower from the motorway and thought how high it looked, even from a distance!”

Keith, a part-time delivery driver for Norchem Pharmacy in Blackpool took on the hair-raising challenge, which has raised more than £850 so far.

He said: "My biggest fear was the rope might snap. Or my Power Ranger suit, which was definitely on the large side, might fill with wind and I’d blow away.

"Or even that I might end up looking like Mr Blobby!

Third party

“Zara is our only child and lives between three-monthly MRI scans to check whether the tumour is growing.

"It wasn’t the best day when we got told the news that she had brain cancer. It changed our lives. We need to find a cure to help families in the future who get delivered the devastating news their loved one has a brain tumour.”

Keith’s abseil was his second fundraiser for Brain Tumour Research, having participated in the charity’s Cycle 274 miles in August Challenge last year, along with his daughter.

Zara has also taken part in Brain Tumour Research’s Walk of Hope, 10,000 Steps in February and Jog 26 Miles in May Challenges, as well as organising a very successful Party Night for 100 revellers in April this year which raised more than £7,000.

Beverley Walsh (Zara's mum), Josh Taylor (her husband), Keith Walsh and Zara Taylor outside the Trafford Centre

Matthew Price, community fundraising manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are very grateful to Keith and Zara’s Appeal for a Cure for their incredible support which is helping in our quest to find better outcomes for brain tumour patients.

“For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer.”

Brain Tumour Research funds sustainable research at dedicated centres in the UK.

It also campaigns for the Government and the larger cancer charities to invest more in research into brain tumours in order to speed up new treatments for patients and, ultimately, to find a cure.

To donate to Keith/Zara’s Appeal for a Cure go www.justgiving.com/fundraising/zarasappealforacure

To read Zara’s brain tumour story go to www.braintumourresearch.org/stories/in-hope/in-hope-stories/zara-taylor