Mountain challenge in memory of single dad

Mick Ferris
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A doting daughter, who is still coming to terms with the loss of her father, is channelling her grief by fundraising to help others.

Liorah Sockolov’s much-adored father, Michael, was thought to have suffered a haemorrhagic stroke when he began forgetting words and his mouth drooped in August 2021.

He was diagnosed with an aggressive glioblastoma (GBM) brain tumour four weeks later and underwent a debulking surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy but died seven months after diagnosis, aged 68.

Now Liorah, from Leigh-on-Sea, is preparing to climb Snowdon (Yr Wyddfa) – the highest mountain in Wales – with friend Jenny Harrold in his memory. This will see the pair ascend 1,085 metres on July 29 in aid of the charity Brain Tumour Research.

Liorah, 25, who works as an executive assistant for the Department of Education, said: “I wanted to do something but was grieving and unsure how to go about it, so when Jenny suggested this, I was quick to say ‘yes’.

“I’m not really a hiker but I’m looking forward to it. I think it’ll be really emotional, but doing it for the charity will make me feel like I’m doing something for the better. I don’t want anyone else to have to go through what I did.”

Michael, a private tutor and retired English and drama teacher, was born in Manchester. He raised Liorah on his own and it was on her insistence that he was reassessed by the stroke team, and his brain tumour discovered.

Liorah said: “My mum left when I was one, so my dad was my sole parent. I’m also an only child and he was absolutely incredible with me. He was the most patient man you could possibly meet, friendly and so kind.

“When I was younger, all my friends said ‘I wish I had your dad’. We were inseparable and did everything together. I told him everything but he was always non-judgemental. He was amazing and I don’t know if I’ll ever love anyone as much as him.”

Liorah and Jenny are keen to raise at least £2,740 for the charity, which is enough to sponsor a day of research at one of its four Centres of Excellence.

To help Liorah and Jenny reach their fundraising target, visit www.justgiving.com/page/liorah-and-jenny-snowdon-trek-2023

Mick Ferris

Editor Email: mickferris@yellowad.co.uk