I was diagnosed with terminal cancer last Christmas and was unlikely to be around to see this one coming up. Instead, I’m running the London Marathon in April 2016. This will be at the tail-end of 15 months of chemo. Please give money to an incredibly underfunded but incredibly necessary cause, helping to beat this terrible affliction that impacts so many lives.
In August 2014 I had a seizure but was assured it was unlikely to be anything worrying. Then, a few weeks before Christmas, a routine follow-up MRI and subsequent biopsy revealed that instead I had a Grade-4 Glioblastoma (a highly aggressive brain tumour) lurking in the back of my brain, with a probable life expectancy of 12-18 months and no known cure. Surgery was seen as pointless. A pretty bleak Christmas present.
Despite the lack of progress in brain cancer treatment:
- Brain tumours receive just 1% of the national spend on cancer research
And because of the lack of progress:
- More children and adults under 40 die of a brain tumour than from any other cancer
- 71% of brain tumour deaths occur in those under 75 compared to 47% for all other cancers
Following 6 weeks of intense radiotherapy and 8 weeks of daily chemotherapy, most of my hair fell out and I grew a Beatle-esque mullet with some kind of ridiculous comb-over (making me look even more dishevelled and scruffy than I did before cancer).
Since March, I’ve stayed on chemo and also been extremely lucky to be amongst the first group of patients to try a pioneering new form of treatment called immunotherapy. I was the fifteenth person to be put on this particular combination, and only able to benefit from it thanks to the generosity of a private sponsor (it is not available through the NHS or private insurance). 99.9% of people are not as fortunate. This is one of the reasons that the research done by this charity is so vital - there are thousands of people around the world who do not have access to these currently unproven treatments, which have the potential to save millions of lives.
I’m running the marathon both to raise funds for this charity and as a celebration of life.
Any money donated will go to a fantastic cause, making an enormous difference to the research and treatments available. So many people – both now and in the future – will benefit from this and the results will change countless lives for the better.
Whatever amount you're able to spare, it would be hugely appreciated by myself and so many others and make an incredibly tangible difference.