Little Paignton girl with a brain tumour inspires marathon challenge
A South Brent resident is taking part in this year’s London Marathon to raise funds for research into the disease which has affected a work colleague’s daughter.
Natalie Cook, 37, Office Manager at Luscombe Drinks, has run half-marathons in the past, including the Torbay half last June, as well as one full marathon soon after she first took up running around eight years ago. She has decided it is time to up her game again, inspired by IT & Engineering Manager, Wayne Martin’s youngest child, six-year-old Leah.
On Sunday 22nd April 2018, Natalie will be pounding the streets of the capital to raise money for Leah’s Fairy Fund, a fundraising group based in Paignton, set up under the umbrella of pioneering, national charity Brain Tumour Research. The charity is funding world-leading research to find a cure for the disease and has a Centre of Excellence within Plymouth University.
Leah Martin was just two years old when her distraught parents were told she had a malignant brain tumour.
Wayne Martin, of Haytor Avenue, recalls: “Leah was lagging behind when it came to developmental milestones in her speech and mobility when compared with her elder sister Jasmine, 10. They found a “mass” in the back of her head when she had an MRI scan and then surgery brought the even more devastating news that Leah had a high grade medulloblastoma brain tumour. She had to undergo chemotherapy and radiotherapy, and has been left with lasting effects. Added to this, Leah isn’t growing as she should and now has to have daily growth hormone injections.”
“We are extremely grateful to Nat for supporting Leah’s Fairy Fund and for taking on the London Marathon in Leah’s name.”
Natalie said: “I have got to know the family through Wayne. I went to Roselands Primary School and was in the same class as Carly Ann (now Baker, but then was Phillips), who is Leah’s mum Jo’s sister. It’s the same school that Leah and Jasmine go to now, so running for Leah’s Fairy Fund means a lot to me.
“I started off my fundraising with a Christmas raffle at work and Luscombe’s own version of the Great British Bake Off, which was great fun with everyone really getting into it. We held the final showstopper followed by the presentation to the winner on the last day before we stopped work for Christmas, raising £337.60 towards my overall target of £3,500.
“My training is going well, although it’s only since New Year that I have started on a proper training plan with five runs a week, including a longer one on a Sunday.
“Leah is so inspiring, as well as the family themselves. I so admire how they all cope. They have such an fantastic network and they still do everything for their other daughter too. Jo is always so cheerful, happy and positive and Wayne is the most amazing person at work.
Emma Cronin, Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research said: Brain tumours kill more children and adults under the age of 40 than any other 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 Leah’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue. We are extremely grateful to Natalie for her support and are appealing for runners who have a ballot place for the marathon to join her on Team Brain Tumour Research by nominating us as their chosen charity for 2018. Together we will find a cure.”
To make a donation to Brain Tumour Research via Natalie’s JustGiving page go to www.justgiving.com/fundraising/natcooklondonbaby and for more information on applying for one of Brain Tumour Research’s remaining London Marathon places go to www.braintumourresearch.org
For further information, please contact: Liz Fussey at Brain Tumour Research on 07811 068357 or firstname.lastname@example.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 are building a game-changing network of world-class Research Centres of Excellence in the UK. Embracing passionate member charities nationwide, £5.5 million was raised towards research and support during 2016.
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 charity is celebrating a year of high-profile campaigning on this issue following the unprecedented success of its petition in 2016. Following that, Brain Tumour Research is now taking a leading role in the Government’s Task and Finish Working Group convened to tackle the historic underfunding for research.
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 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.