"Hi Allan, we've found a mass, we think it's a brain tumour."
November 16th, 2011. I'd been complaining of a headache for a few weeks. Not just any headache - the worst headache you could ever have. It affected my balance - I'd walk into things, feel sick when walking around, and I had real trouble turning left of all things.
I was sat in Lewisham Hospital when I was told. I broke down - how could you not. But I was lucky. I was diagnosed with a benign brain tumour in my cerebellum. Lewisham had no MRI team or specialist neurology department - so they sent my CT scans to King's College, who diagnosed me on a 2D image! I had surgery November 25th, and was discharged just four days later.
Just over two years later, I'm running the Brighton Marathon for the Brain Tumour Charity. I'm amazed that not every hospital has a MRI machine or neurology department, but funding is absolutely critical. Look at the stats:
More people under 40 die from a brain tumour than from ANY type of cancer.
Less than 1% of all cancer funding goes to researching brain tumours.
20% of all cancers spread to the brain.
Everyone at one point in their lives is impacted by a serious condition, whether it happens to you or to your loved ones. I was lucky - I was close to a great hospital, and surrounded by amazing friends and an incredibly brave girlfriend. I'm now marrying her (not letting her go!). Not everyone is as lucky.
I'm running this marathon to raise as much money as possible for the research into brain tumours. It's a distance I've never done before, but those who know me know how much of an effort it is going to be to drag myself around Brighton for a few hours!
I ask often for sponsorship, and people always deliver. You are all heroes for even visiting this page. Thanks for reading, and please give as much as you can.