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Laceys Solicitors honour six-year-old lost to brain tumour in fundraising challenge

20th April 2022 by Sam Burnand

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Laceys Solicitors have signed up to a fundraising challenge for three of the UK’s leading neurological research charities, in honour of Mia Hankins, who was diagnosed with a brain tumour on 11 November 2020 and underwent surgery on 20 November, but despite the best efforts of medics at Southampton Children’s Hospital, Mia never came round from the operation and passed away the following day.

Her aunt, Laura Hankins, who is a trainee solicitor at Laceys, has got a 16-strong team of staff members to sign up to take part in the Brainathlon – a walk, run and climb relay challenge for Brain Research UK, Brain Tumour Research and Epilepsy Research UK which starts next Monday. Everyone will compete 26.2 miles during Brainathlon Week – Monday 25 April to Sunday 1 May. This is made of 10 miles of walking, 15 miles of running and 1.2 miles of climbing (walking up 2,500 stairs or equivalent).

Laura said: “Mia’s story is totally heart-breaking. She was such a brave and beautiful girl, loved so dearly by her family. Through organ donation she was able to prolong the lives of three others in need, making us even more proud of the caring and amazing young lady she was.”

 “Mia was and always will be a cherished daughter, granddaughter, great granddaughter, niece, cousin and friend.”

Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer, yet historically just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.

Since Mia passed away, her family has set up a Fundraising Group under the umbrella of Brain Tumour Research called Mia’s Pegasus Fund to help find better outcomes for brain tumour patients and ultimately a cure. To date they have raised around £22,230 through a variety of events and challenges including bake sales and the national Three Peaks Challenge.

Sam Burnand, marketing manager at Laceys, said: “Laceys is immensely proud of the large number of staff who have put themselves forward to take part in the Brainathlon challenge inspired by Laura’s niece Mia. On top of this, the partners have generously committed to adding an extra £1,000 to the final fundraising total.

 “The event has provided a reason for staff to get out at lunchtimes to walk along the beach which we are hoping to continue whilst the weather stays good.”

Mel Tiley, community development manager at Brain Tumour Research, said: “We are indebted to Laceys Solicitors and Mia’s Pegasus Fund for their support in the fight to find a cure for brain tumours.

 “Mia’s story reminds us that just 12.5% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers. We cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. Brain Tumour Research is determined to change outcomes for brain tumour patients and ultimately find a cure.”

If  you would like to donate to Laceys Brainathlon fundraising please go to;



Sam Burnand

Marketing Manager — Marketing

Direct dial: 01202 377882


Sam Burnand

“I’ve been working with Sam for a couple of years on a very wide range of marketing communications. Sam has a natural attention to detail and a refreshing attitude to the work we’ve collaborated on. The launch of the new Laceys site is now the benchmark for the brand and business offering. Sam has been at the heart this journey and has been a key driver for the consistency any strong brand should have. It’s exciting to be working with a solicitor’s firm that really understands their vast audience.”

Jamie Shanks, Green Tambourine

Sam joined Laceys back in 2015 to help look after the marketing for the firm. Her role includes managing branding, website content, events, advertising and social media for Laceys.

Before joining Laceys Sam worked for over 10 years in several marketing agencies in London, managing client projects across different sectors, ranging from Coca Cola to the Department of Health. Having grown up in Poole herself, Sam and her family took the decision to move back to the South Coast a few years ago to bring up their young children.

Outside of work, Sam is a keen racquetball and tennis player and getting out on her bike to the Purbecks when time allows. She is also partial to a good glass of wine and dance when the opportunity arises!

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