First ladies’ team take on Everest in the Alps


On 26th February, seven teams will be taking on a huge challenge – Everest in the Alps. It is a 4 day ascent of the height of Everest on skis, all to raise money for research into paediatric brain tumours. One of the teams taking part, Toby’s Team, has been set up by Tanya Ritchie, and she and her husband are the driving force behind this initiative, following their youngest son Toby being diagnosed with a low grade brain tumour at the age of 5.  They are the first ever ladies team to take part in the event, of which she says, “we are all putting in a huge amount of training and preparation to complete the challenge!  We will ski, uphill, the height of Everest – that’s 8,848m. It will push us to our limits (possibly beyond), mentally and physically. During a marathon you typically burn 3,000 calories and we will be burning 8,500 on each of the four days.”

But they are doing all this for something very important.

Over 26,800 children and young adults have a paediatric low grade brain tumour diagnosis every year. For many this means years of gruelling chemotherapy, radiotherapy and surgery.  For those that survive, 62% are left with a life-altering disability, and the threat of relapse is constant. Despite this, progress and treatments have not advanced much, and only 1.99% of national cancer research funding is allocated to research into brain tumours.

The Everest in the Alps challenge will raise money for a new, ground-breaking £5m research centre – The Everest Centre for Research into Paediatric Low Grade Brain Tumours. It brings together international field-leaders and aims to better understand low grade (slower growing) tumours, and develop improved – and safer – treatments for children.  Through the last Everest in the Alps challenge in 2015, an incredible £3m was raised, but we’ve got more fundraising to do to make sure the vital research can be funded. 

“Toby is 10 now, he has had 2 major brain surgeries, 18 months of chemotherapy and he is the bravest boy we know, who loves life, his friends, any sports and trying hard to be a normal busy school boy at Twyford School, Hampshire. As a family the Ritchie’s take each day as it comes, but Toby has balance issues, is ventilated at night, breathing problems, eyesight issues etc all due to the tumour and where it is positioned in his brain. It is an unfair situation, but Toby is a fun and happy boy who lives life to the full and he is a real character.  Toby has scans every 3 months to see if the tumour has grown again. Which, when it has, his parents have had to undertake the painful decision of which toxic treatment to subject him to next.”

The team’s stated aim is to raise £350,000, but they hope to significantly exceed this target with the same level of determination that is going into the training and will go into the event itself. Through this event, they also want to raise awareness. 100% of the funds received will be invested into research at the Everest Centre. 

We are so proud to be supporting such an incredible team of brave, strong women, and any help you can give will be immensely appreciated by Toby’s Team. 

You can find out more about the Everest in the Alps Challenge and Just Giving Page here: and  


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