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Brothers to take on Leeds 10k in memory of their father

Darren Needham with his wife Helen
Darren Needham with his wife Helen

Two brothers who lost their father to a brain tumour have set themselves the challege of running the Leeds 10k.

Darren Needham, 40, from Retford, and his brother Andrew, 38, of Doncaster, have been in training for the race to continue their father Alan Needham’s legacy of raising funds for the national Brain Tumour Research charity.

Alan was diagnosed with an aggressive and incurable glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) brain tumour in January 2014.

He was told he had just six to 12 months to live. Alan underwent a wide-awake craniotomy, as well as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.

In 2017, Alan was told that his tumour had returned and that he needed further surgery. Sadly he suffered a stroke during the operation and later developed sepsis.

Alan was admitted into Castlethorpe nursing home as he needed 24-hour care.

Alan, who passed away in January, was a highly-respected conductor and musical director of brass bands across Yorkshire and the Midlands. He raised more than £11,500 for the Brain Tumour Research charity.

Darren said: “Andy and I are running the Leeds 10K in Dad’s memory. Dad was always such a larger than life character, it was horrible to see how the brain tumour affected him, particularly in the last few months.

“I hope Dad will be proud of us. I am not a natural runner, although I did run a 10K a few years ago, but have done nothing since.

“Please donate in memory of Dad. 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 per cent of the national spend on cancer research has been allocated to this devastating disease.”

The Leeds 10k takes place on July 8.

Brain Tumour Research is the only national charity in the UK dedicated to raising funds for continuous and sustainable scientific research into brain tumours.

For more information about the charity visit www.braintumourresearch.org.