Brave Rastrick girl inspires pair's mega marathon challenge

A much-loved Rastrick girl who died from an aggressive cancer has inspired two men to take on one of the toughest physical challenges in the world.

Wednesday, 30th June 2021, 11:16 am
Paul Mashinter, headteacher of Carr Green Primary School with Jamie Todd and Daniel Hermann and Fifi's mum, Julia Hagreen.

Daniel Hermann and Jamie Todd are in training for the Marathon des Sables -a staggering six marathons in six days in the Sahara Desert.

They want to raise funds for more research into DIPG - a tumour which forms on the brainstem and is impossible to operate on - which killed six-year-old Sofia Hagreen, known as Fifi.

Dad-of-three Daniel’s son was in Fifi’s class at Carr Green Primary School before she died in April 2019.

“It hit everyone like a brick,” he said. “No child or family should ever have to endure this and it breaks my heart every time I think of it.

“There is currently no cure for this disease and even trials aren’t running. If there is anything at all we can do to help, I feel it is the least we can do.”

Fifi’s mum Julia said she and Fifi’s dad Darren, 10-year-old sister Mollie and six-year-old brother George miss the little girl every day.

She described her as a extremely fun-loving, caring, kind-natured little girl with an amazing sense of humour and imagination.

“Seeing what she went through and losing her is the hardest thing to live with every day,” said Julia.

“We still cant believe she is gone and that we will never see her beautiful face or hear her cute little voice.

“I’ve heard so many people saying time is a great healer but with child loss it doesn’t work like that. I still cry every day.

“That’s why kindness from others and people caring makes a huge difference for us and our family. The fact that people are out there willing to do this means the world to us.”

The challenge in October will see the pair having to be self-sufficient for the week, carrying everything they need and sleeping under the stars.

“It is said to be the toughest foot race on earth and will be the biggest challenge we have, or are ever likely to face” said Daniel.

“The pain we will experience will not be a fraction of what Fifi and her family and all these other children and their families have faced and are facing on a daily basis. This is for them.”