Tributes paid to mother-of-two Annie Hughes, 29, who tragically died from a brain tumour

Annie's Challenge - Annie Hughes with husband, David, and their children Noah and Lily

Annie's Challenge - Annie Hughes with husband, David, and their children Noah and Lily - Credit: Archant

Annie Hughes (née Dunham) will be “missed by many” and was “special beyond words”, her family said this week.

Sam Crimp and Henry Dunham are walking 6,500 miles to Nepal to raise money for charity.

Sam Crimp and Henry Dunham are walking 6,500 miles to Nepal to raise money for charity. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown

The mother-of-two from Framlingham passed away aged 29 on March 7 after being diagnosed with astrocytoma in July.

Never one to give up, Annie stayed positive and the charity, Annie’s Challenge, was born out of her desire to support others.

She was the daughter of Nick and Madeleine, wife to David and mother of Noah, four, and Lily, two.

Annie was also sister to Ben, 34, Toby, 32, Henry, 28, Alexander, 24, Kitty, 19, and 14-year-old Jemima.

Sam Crimp and Henry Dunham are walking 6,500 miles to Nepal to raise money for charity.

Sam Crimp and Henry Dunham are walking 6,500 miles to Nepal to raise money for charity. - Credit: Sarah Lucy brown


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Her parents said she developed learning difficulties at a young age, including speech and language problems, with Madeleine adding: “She didn’t say mummy until she was 10.”

But despite facing challenges, her parents said she “thrived”, starting her education at Henley Primary School, before moving to specialist schools around the country and eventually returning to Suffolk where she worked in Clarke and Simpson estate agents and the East of England Co-op store, both in Framlingham.

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Nick said: “She was very resilient and very happy. It’s so difficult to remember times when she wasn’t happy.

“She didn’t consider herself as disabled. She was very good at hiding her problems and dealing with them – she was an amazing young lady.”

She helped with Brownie and Guide groups in the town, and was part of the church choir in Framlingham from the age of eight.

Even when Annie was ill, she created a website and wrote her own blog, her parents said.

Nick said: “She didn’t consider there was anything she couldn’t do.”

Following her diagnosis, her family helped her get through milestones including her fifth wedding anniversary in September, Lily’s birthday just before Christmas and Noah’s birthday in February.

Her parents said being a mum was “everything to her” with Madeleine adding: “It was all she wanted to be.

“She had been a big sister to her two little sisters and she knew what to do. It came naturally to her.”

In memory of Annie, Henry, along with friend Sam Crimp, 22, will be setting out on a 6,500-mile walk from London to Kathmandu.

The pair, who studied at Framlingham College, will be walking to the capital of Nepal, which equates to around 13million steps, for the family’s charity, Annie’s Challenge.

The charity will then donate funds to Cancer active, St Elizabeth Hospice and Marie Curie – all of which helped the Annie and her family. They also hope to be able to fund research into brain tumours.

Henry said: “We were thinking of the biggest feasible thing we could do and it just popped into our heads. It seems plausible, just about.”

The pair will be walking about a quarter of the way around the world on the self-funded trip, but are both seasoned travellers, with Henry having backpacked across Europe, and Sam previously hitch-hiking the length of Australia.

The proposed route, which they aim to have set off on by May 28, will take them through France, Belgium, Germany, Poland, Belarus, Russia, Kazakhstan and China before arriving in Nepal.

The pair have set aside a year to complete the challenge, and have spoken to ex-military personnel for tips and advice.

Sam said: “We know it’s going to break us – we’ll be wild camping, and there will be lots of sleepless nights.”

The pair will also be making a film of their walk, which they hope to be able to use to raise awareness for the charity.

Henry said: “Annie was such an adventurous sort of person. She never did the Duke of Edinburgh at school, but she went to do it and got the gold award, all by herself. She was one of those people who would get up and do it.”

Looking ahead to the challenge, Henry said: “People just want to help.

“All cancers are awful unquestionably, but with most you can still function. With brain cancer where it sits on top it presses on all the neurones.

“After three or four months, communications skills suffered a lot, she couldn’t talk, it affected her movement.

“It was something I was completely unaware of and not ready for.”

A service of reflection will take place at St Michael’s Church, Framlingham on Thursday at 2pm. The family has asked for no flowers, but donations may be made via through Farthing Funeral Service on 01473 272711.

For more information on the charity, visit the website

For more information on the trek, which is still looking for sponsors and donations, see here

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