Chef remembers late wife with London Marathon challenge
A chef from Chesterfield in Derbyshire has completed the London Marathon in memory of his wife who died from a brain tumour. Mark Bingham, aged 35, took part in the world’s most famous running event to help raise funds for research into the devastating disease.
His wife, Fiona, a 33-year-old career advisor, was diagnosed in 2015 with a grade three astrocytoma. Her diagnosis came after a visit to Boots for prescription sunglasses when opticians discovered pressure behind Fiona’s eye. She was referred to Chesterfield Royal Hospital where CT scans revealed an abnormality and Fiona was given an MRI test and then diagnosed with a brain tumour. Following her brain tumour diagnosis, Fiona had surgery, chemotherapy and radiotherapy to battle the disease but sadly in March 2017, just two years later, she passed away.
Mark, a chef at Wards Garden Centre, said: “I am absolutely knackered but I couldn’t be happier that I’ve completed the marathon. Fiona would say I’m crazy for doing it but I’m sure she’d be proud that I’m raising money for research into brain tumours.
“So little is known about brain tumours which is why research funding is so crucial. I’m hoping to raise at least £3,500 for scientists to continue trying to find a cure.”
Mark was one of 40,000 runners taking part in the event which was started by The Queen from the grounds of Windsor Castle. It was the 38th London Marathon to take place since the first on 29th March 1981.
The money Mark raises will go towards the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research which funds a network of dedicated Centres of Excellence where scientists are focused on improving outcomes for patients and, ultimately, finding a cure.
Michael Thelwall, Head of Community Fundraising for Brain Tumour Research, said: “Mark’s determination and commitment are fantastic and I hope his story will provide inspiration to others whose lives have been affected by a brain tumour.
“Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer – and they kill more women under 35 than breast cancer– yet just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.
“For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Experiences like Fiona’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful to Mark and offer our congratulations to everyone who took part in this year’s event to raise money for charity.”
Make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Mark’s JustGiving page.
For further information, please contact:
Farel Williams at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867239 or 07592 502708 or Farel.Williams@braintumourresearch.org
Notes to Editors
Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK focused on funding sustainable research to find a cure for brain tumours. We have established a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, over £6 million was raised towards research and support during 2017.
We are campaigning to see the national spend on research into brain tumours increased to £30 - £35 million a year, in line with breast cancer and leukaemia. The unprecedented success of our 2015 petition led to the 2016 Westminster Hall debate and Brain Tumour Research taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research with the report being published in 2018.
Key statistics on brain tumours:
- Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other cancer
- They kill more children than leukaemia
- They kill more men under 45 than prostate cancer
- They kill more women under 35 than breast cancer
- Just 1% of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease
- In the UK, 16,000 people each year in the UK are diagnosed with a brain tumour
- Less than 20% of those diagnosed with a brain tumour survive beyond five years compared with an average of 50% across all cancers
- Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age
- Incidences of and deaths from brain tumours are increasing
Please quote Brain Tumour Research as the source when using this information. Additional facts and statistics are available from our website including our latest Report on National Research Funding. We can also provide case-studies and research expertise for media.