Katherine and Simon Tansey, from Hinckley and Bosworth, lost their daughter Isla to a rare type of brain tumour in 2018 and have run Islastones Foundation in her memory to support biomedical research and provide grants for families affected by childhood cancer.
The foundation started in 2019 and is named after their daughter’s ‘Isla’s Stones’ awareness-raising campaign, in which she encouraged people to paint and hide stones for others to find, take a photograph and upload it to social media.
Since launching, stones have been hidden all around the world, including at the Taj Mahal, in New Zealand, the North Pole, Mexico and the Antarctic. The campaign was a viral hit and received worldwide support, including from HRH King Charles III.
Katherine and Simon have also worked with fellow Point of Light, Abbie’s Army, to fund a dedicated ‘Isla Smiler DIPG (Diffuse Intrinsic Pontine Glioma) Trials Researcher’.
The daily Points of Light award, issued by the Prime Minister, recognises outstanding individual volunteers across the United Kingdom for their efforts within their community. Katherine and Simon Tansey are the 2213th and 2214th individuals to receive a Points of Light recognition since the award was launched in 2014.
Katherine and Simon Tansey said “Wow thank you so much, it is a huge honour to accept Points of Light Award this on Isla’s behalf and all those other children who are affected by childhood cancer.
“In the future we hope that there will be better outcomes and kinder treatments for children diagnosed with childhood cancer.”
Dr Luke Evans, Katherine and Simon’s local MP for Bosworth, said “Isla Tansey was a remarkable girl. Despite a dreadful diagnosis, she showed a joy for life that reminds us all to treat each day as a blessing.
“Katherine and Simon have worked tirelessly to raise awareness of DIPG and they established the Islastones Foundation to bring moments of happiness to other children with cancer and their families.
“The memory of Isla and the ongoing efforts of her parents are a point of light within our community; everyone knows the story and everywhere you go across Hinckley and Bosworth you can see painted stones in her memory. A phenomenon that has now spread across the world. I’m so pleased that their commitment to Isla’s memory and condition has been recognised, as our community knows just how special they are and now so does the country.”
You can find out more about Islastones here: https://islastones.com/