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National brain tumour research funding needs to increase to £35 million a year

Lee’s legacy inspires marathon effort

A man is preparing to run his first marathon inspired by the sudden death of a headteacher to a brain tumour. 

Graeme Sands, 53, (pictured left) is training for the Brighton Marathon for Brain Tumour Research. His fundraising comes after fellow Whitley Bay resident Lee Patterson (pictured right) died from a glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) in November 2020. Graeme had never met Lee, but when he heard that his widow, Kathy, was supporting the charity in his memory, he was keen to help.

Graeme said: “Last year, Kathy put up some posters in the gym, advertising the charity’s Jog 26 Miles in May challenge and my wife Nicola and I signed up to take part. Having read Lee’s story on the Brain Tumour Research website and found out about the dreadful statistics surrounding brain tumours, we were motivated to get behind the cause and support Kathy.”

Having completed Jog 26 Miles in May, Graeme is taking his running – and his fundraising – to the next level and on Sunday 10th April, he aims to cross the finish line of his first marathon.

Since Lee’s tragic death, Kathy and her family have held a number of fundraising activities raising a combined total of almost £20,000 to help find a cure.

She said: “Lee leaves behind a fantastic legacy and I’m proud to be helping that to continue by fundraising in his name. The latest fundraiser we held was a quiz night at Whitley Bay Golf Club on Friday 25th February, which raised £2,000.

“The fact that Graeme is taking on a marathon in Lee’s memory, having never even met him, is really humbling and I’m so grateful to him for supporting this cause. Lee’s story has moved so many people; it’s wonderful to see that translate into fundraising to help find a cure for brain tumours.”

To support Graeme, please donate to his JustGiving page here.

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