Dad teeing off for tragic daughter Ava

Golf day fundraiser Lee Turnbull.

Golf day fundraiser Lee Turnbull.

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A LOVING dad who tragically lost his daughter to leukaemia drove up a fundraising total in her memory.

Adorable Ava Turnbull was just 10 months old when she lost her battle with illness in September last year.

Ava with mum Caroline

Ava with mum Caroline

Since their devastating loss, her parents Lee, 36, and Caroline, 29, from Applewood Close, in the Clavering area of town, have raised more than £8,500 for a number of different causes.

And on Saturday Lee along with a host of kind-hearted friends, family and business representatives put their swings to the test and took part in a fundraising golf day.

Around 50 players completed 18 holes of golf at Throston Golf Club, in Hartlepool and helped to raise money for the Bubble Foundation and the children’s oncology unit at Newcastle RVI Hospital.

The charities are close to the hearts of both Lee and Caroline, who both have sons Thomas Turnbull, 10, and 11-year old Cameron Wilkinson, from previous relationships.

The Bubble Foundation raises money for medical equipment, toys and educational aids as well as supporting families with accommodation to save them travelling hundreds of miles on a daily basis to visit their ill children in hospital.

The charity helped Lee, a Hartlepool Borough Council worker, and Caroline, who works as an administrator, during their ordeal when Ava was being treated

in Newcastle.

The couple also care dearly for the “fantastic” staff in the children’s oncology unit at Newcastle’s Royal Victoria Infirmary who treated Ava while she was battling illness.

“We have raised money for a number of charities in the last few months but these two are extremely close to our hearts,” said Lee.

“The Bubble Foundation was such a help and its work supports so many families.

“The nurses at the hospital were just amazing, they really were absolutely fantastic.

“We wanted to say thanks, and give something back.”

Lee thanked Keith Robertson, a family friend, who organised the golf day.

A number of business representatives, some from as far as Coventry and Manchester, made the journey to take part.

More than £1,700 has already been pledged and Lee is hoping to pass the £2,000 mark once money from raffles and extra donations has been counted up.

He added: “I would like to thank everyone who took part and especially Keith for doing a lot of the organisation.

“We have already raised a brilliant amount of money.”

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