Losing best friend to brain tumour inspires marathon challenge
A businessman who lost his best friend to a brain tumour after his mum was also affected by the disease by is taking on this year’s London Marathon to raise funds for charity Brain Tumour Research.
Bob Gearing, 53, who lives in Eastbourne and owns a tiling shop in Lingfield in Surrey, was inspired to take part in the challenge event after two people in his life were struck down with brain tumours.
After enduring months of headaches, confusion, balance issues and memory loss, Bob’s best friend Trevor Morris, also from Eastbourne, was eventually diagnosed in September 2011 with a grade four glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), a very aggressive type of tumour. Undergoing two operations and chemotherapy Trevor fought bravely to battle the growth of the tumour, however the tumour gained control and he died in October 2013 surrounded by his wife Sharon and his family.
Having fought off breast cancer just six years earlier, Bob’s mum Rita was diagnosed with a brain tumour in early 1984 after experiencing issues with her balance and an optician noticing something on a routine eye exam. Unlike Trevor’s tumour, Rita’s was categorised as low- grade and was able to be removed by surgery that year. She has since made a good recovery.
On Sunday 22nd April 2018, Bob will be pounding the streets of the capital to raise money for the pioneering charity Brain Tumour Research, which is funding world-leading research to find a cure for the disease. He has already raised over £1,800 towards his £4,000 fundraising target.
Bob, who is the owner of Barge Tiles, said: “Trevor was the strongest person I knew, funny, kind and generous. Successful in so many ways. We all miss him and I know he would have been full of encouragement in the months ahead, urging me to just keep running.
“Until Trevor was diagnosed we had no concept of what a brain tumour was or what the obvious symptoms where. Earlier diagnosis would not have changed the outcome, but it would have meant that Trevor would have been spared the months of pain and discomfort and it would have meant that his family would have been able to have the conversations that are so important when someone is told that they have terminal illness.
Brain tumours are indiscriminate; they can affect anyone at any age. What’s more, they 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.
Tim Green, Community Fundraising Manager for Brain Tumour Research, said: “For too long, brain tumours have been a neglected cancer. Stories like Maria’s and Trevor’s remind us all that we cannot allow this desperate situation to continue.
“We are extremely grateful to Bob for his support and are appealing for runners who have a ballot place for the marathon to join him 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 Bob’s JustGiving page go to https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/BobGearing-LM2018 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:
Lexie Jenkins at Brain Tumour Research on 01908 867222 or 07591 206545 or Lexie.Jenkins@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 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.