Fire-fighters' treadmill challenge for brave Tia

Firefighters and friends are doing their bit to help the family of a brave little girl battling a rare form of cancer.

Thursday, 17th March 2016, 10:59 am
Tia Taggart with parents Lee and Gill, firefighters Chritian Lopez and Darren Bowers, as well as friend Leanne Barnes

Courageous Tia Taggart (6) is currently undergoing treatment for Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer.

Leanne Barnes, the wife of Padiham firefighter Mark Barnes, has organised a number of fund-raising ventures to help Tia’s parents Lee and Gill Taggart.

And the latest has seen Leanne join her husband and his colleagues on a treadmill – in full gear for 24 hours – at Padiham’s Tesco store.

Leanne said: “Tia is a lovely little girl who goes to school with my son Harris at St John the Baptist.

“I wanted to help Tia’s family during this difficult time. We set ourselves a target of £1,500 but we look like reaching £2,000 which is fantastic.

“Tia’s parents can use the money however they wish, whether that’s on travelling expenses or a treat for Tia.”

Tia, who visited the store to cheer on the firefighters, is set to undergo her first round of radiotherapy at the Christie Hospital.

She has already had six rounds of chemotherapy at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, which has resulted in hair loss, sore joints and blisters in her throat.

Dad Lee (42) said: “We are so grateful to Leanne and all the firefighters who have helped raise money for Tia.

“If there is enough money left over at the end, and if Tia is feeling up to it, we’d like to taker her on a nice holiday.

“She is responding really well to treatment so far. We’re just taking each day as it comes, but she’s doing well.

“Tia is going into school whenever she can. She is a very brave little girl.”

Gill (37), who works at the Original Factory Shop in Padiham, thanked everyone who had supported them so far and said the latest fund-raising venture was “absolutely fabulous.”

Tia also recently joined firefighters at their charity car wash day at Padiham Fire Station to help them raise £370 for her appeal.

Firefighter Christian Lopez said: “We want to raise enough to help Tia and her family with everyday requirements, ongoing care and rehabilitation.”

To support the challenge and help young Tia, visit